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Clean up your garden tools

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Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Monday, 19th October 2020, 09:00

Now that autumn leaves are falling, keep your garden tidy by sweeping the patio and planting up extra pots with small evergreens, pansies and some bulbs to keep the interest going. Even if you only have a small audience, you’ll still want your garden to look its best!

This is also a good month to take a long hard look at your garden. We are all guilty of hanging on to shrubs, trees or perennials that really are either not good doers, or are too big or ugly. If you are having trouble deciding, get the professionals in. It is better to start the process in the winter months than waiting until spring when everyone is rushed off their feet!

Stop the build up of pests and diseases

One of the chores in having a greenhouse is that it should really be cleaned every year to stop the build up of pests and diseases, and to keep the glass clean for maximum light. A dry windy day would be ideal for this. Using a disinfectant such as Jeyes fluid, clean the benches, all the cracks and crevices which could house mealy bugs, and even wash through the gravel if you have it on your bench tops.

This is one of those jobs that hangs over you like a big black cloud, but when you’re done it will make you feel wonderful. You will be tempted to bore your family and friends by taking them into your clean greenhouse to look round – don’t expect the same interest from them!

Hybrid tea and floribunda roses need to be cut back by about one-third now, which will stop wind rock loosening the roots through the winter. Also cut off any dead, diseased or crossing growth. Leave the rest for the spring pruning.

When the mowing comes to a halt later this month (although last winter the lawns seemed to grow all through the winter!) book your mower in to be serviced, thus beating the spring rush. Now is also a good time to clean and oil tools and send off secateurs to be sorted out if they are in a bit of a state.

A valuable late source of nectar for bees

A plant that really adds to the garden this month is the Sedum Herbstfreude, or the Ice Plant, which starts early in spring with the fat rosettes of succulent, lettuce-green leaves, topped with salmon-pink flower heads in summer, maturing to pinkish-bronze then coppery-red in autumn.

This versatile perennial is a perfect filler plant for a sunny, well-drained spot. A valuable late source of nectar for butterflies and bees, the dried flower heads provide structure and colour in the winter garden and still look interesting in November.

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Image: www.gardeningexpress.co.uk

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