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Gardening tips for autumn

By Silvia Wei

Autumn is a busy time in the garden, clearing away the decaying vegetation of the summer and preparing the garden for winter.

Dig up annuals and add them to the compost heap.

Autumn provides an ideal opportunity to move poorly placed plants, and divide overcrowded perennials while the soil is still warm.

Cut back faded perennials to 5cm above ground level. Once your borders are clean and tidy, spread a thick layer of compost, bark chips or well rotted manure across them. Don’t worry about digging it in – let the worms do the hard work for you.

If your lawn looks slightly worse for wear then autumn is the perfect time to revitalise it.

Improve drainage and aeration by making deep holes with the prongs of a garden fork every 10cm across the entire area.

A sandy top dressing can be brushed in afterwards, followed by an application of autumn lawn feed to prepare your lawn for the winter months. Autumn is a great time to lay new turf too, giving it plenty of time to establish before next summer.

Leaf mould adds structure and organic matter to your soil. Most leaves from deciduous trees and shrubs will rot down to make lovely leaf compost in a couple of years, although some leaves will take longer than others.

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