On this beautiful October morning, it seems a little strange to be thinking of putting the garden to bed for the winter. But as the flowers fade and the leaves fall, it means that the dark nights will be much closer and the garden is getting ready for it's 'big sleep'.
I was speaking to a friend who has it on good authority that the long range forecast for this winter is not looking good, and that last year may be repeated. So even if the councils are not prepared, at least us gardeners can be.
Plastic Leaf Rake with replaceable tines - PLASTICRAKE
Wrap plants to protect from frost
It's more important than ever to protect your plants, especially those that are borderline hardy. Consider lifting things like agapanthus and bringing inside for the winter. Like Dahlias, these can be stored relatively dry in a frost free garage or cellar.
Consider wrapping plants such as new Cordylines, but not with plastic or bubble wrap as these will make them sweat and rot. Firstly tie the leaves together with string or raffia and then wrap with horticultural fleece.
Other jobs to do this month include regularly raking leaves from the lawn (using the handy leaf pickers which are great fun to use), and raking up the fallen leaves in the borders.
And don't forget to have your pop up bin handy to transfer the leaves around the garden. Its easy to place a black plastic bag inside the pop up bin to hold it whilst you fill it to the top with leaves. Really push them down and compact them, shredding with the mower if possible, then water if not already wet and tie the bag up. Place in a discreet location and stab the bag with the fork several times to allow air circulation. In two to three years time, open the bags and spread on your borders in spring as a wonderful home made mulch.