1. Dig out the debris
Remove plant debris and diseased leaves from flowers and vegetable patches. Dig up the plants that only last a season and put them on the compost heap. Flowering perennials – plants that spring up year after year from their roots – should be cut back. Remove yellowing or dead leaves or flowers before rot develops and remove any weeds hidden under the plants.
2. Start composting
Winter gives cuttings and leaves a chance to break down and produce nutrient-rich compost, which will be ready for boosting the garden in the new year. Now is also a really good time to turn your compost heap. It will heat up nicely and then gently rot over winter.
3. Embrace autumn colour
Deciduous trees will provide lovely autumn colours from foliage, bark and berries. Autumn flowers such as crocus add colour, too. Cyclamens come in white and a range of pink shades with glossy green leaves, and add a welcome dash of vibrancy.
4. Love your lawn
For a lovely lawn next spring, start to mow less frequently and raise the height of the grass as the growth rate slows down. Scarify your lawn by raking out dead grass and moss that has built up over the summer. Follow this with applying a high-potassium autumn lawn feed, which will release the correct balance of nutrients throughout the winter.
5. Cover up the furniture
When there is no more need for garden furniture, store it in the shed or garage to protect it from the winter weather and allow it to dry out. If you can’t do this, cover it with a tough waterproof sheet securely fixed down, taking care to allow plenty of air to circulate so that the furniture is not damp all winter. Wooden items, such as benches or pergolas, may benefit from a treatment of preservative.