Brits are being urged to spend the last few weeks of summer giving their gardens some TLC in order to prepare for autumn and the colder months.
The shed specialists at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have looked at the mistakes green-fingered beginners are most likely to make as the days get shorter and colder in order to advise them on how to be better prepared.
Listed among the recommended tasks are doing a big tidy, and planting spring bulbs in preparation for next year.
Gardeners should also remember to clear up fallen leaves, pack away garden furniture and protect pots and plants.
A spokesperson for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “As soon as the nice weather disappears, and the chilly days and dark evenings set in, people start to neglect their gardens.
“Autumn is one of the most important times of the year for gardening – it’s the time to get the garden tidied up ready for the chilly months and to do all those little jobs to make sure plants and garden features remain in good condition.
“As it gets colder it’s too easy to put the jobs off – but it really is worth investing the time so when Spring finally puts in an appearance, you’re ready to enjoy your outside space.”
1 Net the pond
If you’re fortunate enough to have a pond, cover it with a net. Forget and you’ll be fishing out soggy plants all winter.
2 Cut the lawn
Remember – your lawn will need a really good cut before the cold and wet weather sets in. If you let the grass get too long, it will be near impossible to cut it over the winter.
3 Clean and clear
Just as you would spring clean your house, don’t forget to autumn clean your garden. Cut back plants and clear out the shed and greenhouse before you store everything for winter. It is also a good time to pressure wash the patio or scrub down the decking. This will stop excessive dirt and grime build up occurring over the wet winter months.
4 Don’t let leaves build up
Leaves are public enemy number one so as they start to fall from the trees, don’t let them build up. If you do, they’ll soon turn to mulch and become slippery and dangerous.
5 Plant spring bulbs
If you like the sight of daffodils and tulips in the spring, then remember to plant them in September/October.
6 Protect your pots
Store both your empty and in-use pots correctly over the winter months. Insulate with either hay, cardboard or bubble wrap and make sure you raise all in-use pots off the ground to prevent them from getting waterlogged during rainy weather.
7 Protect your plants
The first frost of the year can arrive without any warning and can kill your favourite foliage. If you have any plants you know are susceptible to cold weather, get them in the greenhouse or in your conservatory.
8 Clear away garden items
Don’t forget to pack away any garden items that may get damaged by the cold weather. If your furniture or BBQ won’t fit in the shed, make sure they’re covered up properly.
9 Don’t forget the wildlife
Don’t forget about any wildlife that visits your garden. Make sure you leave out seeds for the birds and any suitable leftovers.