The end of the growing season signals the prefect time for a spot of routine maintenance. To make life a little easier we have some great hints and tips to help your garden through its dormant phase.

Maintenance Must Do’s

• TLC! Give your lawn that extra tender loving care. Many of us tend to think the lawn will pretty much look after itself but it will strongly benefit from raking over to remove leaves and to ‘scratch’ the surface.

• Checks need to be put in place. Check the walls and fences for signs of wear and tear. This way you can repair any loose panels or holes. Also, if weather is on our side and we have a dry spell, secure the wobbly paving stones so they are ready for the family barbecues next Spring!

• Remember remember! Make sure all garden furniture is stored under cover to protect it from the winter weather. Either move it into the garage or shed or cover it with a tough plastic protector securely fixed down.

• Precious ponds! If you are lucky enough to have a pond remember to cover it with a net to prevent the falling autumnal leaves polluting the water and if it has fish ensure it never freezes completely to enable them to breathe. A great tip to do this is to place a child’s ball on top of the water. When the pond freezes, just lift off the ball and you have already made a hole.

• Tools glorious tools! Now is the perfect time of the year to give your favourite tools an MOT and oiling. Give them a good scrub and ensure they are bone dry before storing. Some people like to clean their tools in sand – another great way to get the shine back!

• Time for a tidy up! Plants that flourished and looked stunning during the summer are well past their best now. The plants that only tend to last one season need to be dug up and thrown away. On the plus side, winter isn’t all doom and gloom! Get outdoors and plant out winter bedding, such as ornamental cabbages, pansies, heathers and cyclamen – you’ll have some colour in no time!

So don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s all over until next spring! Winter is a busy time in the garden, clearing away the decaying vegetation of the summer and preparing the garden for the cold winter months ahead! Put your woollies on and let the big clear up begin!

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