Whoever said “a stitch in time saves nine” knew what they were talking about.
We all know householders who clear out gutters before the autumn leaf season causes blockages, and motorists who put antifreeze in the car before the cold sets in – so why not bring that thought process to the garden?
A few simple jobs reduce the need for repairs and avoid preventable accidents. So make a list of what needs to be done over a few weeks, and once you tick the last job off you can put your feet up for the winter.
Paving can get slippery due to moss, algae or muck, so now’s a good time for a clear-up.
Move everything off the patio, prise out weeds or moss and put in 10 minutes’ work with a stiff brush and a bucket of warm, soapy water.
There’s still time to plant tulip or hyacinth bulbs, wallflowers or polyanthus plants to flower in spring, or winter-flowering pansies which can keep going till June.
You need shelter for hanging baskets to do well in winter – but in a suitable site you could go for hardy souls such as ivy, sempervivums (houseleeks) or winter-flowering heathers.
Furniture wants putting away. If you have hardwood benches or cast aluminium chairs and tables to be left outside all year, they’ll benefit from a good cleaning now.
Hardwood furniture can then be given a coat of teak or linseed oil – whatever the makers recommend.