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A perfect hutch

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are hungry going into winter, they will look very sad during this time, whereas the greener and stronger they are now, the more they will handle the cold. In very frosty areas however, all of these summer-active running grasses may brown off.

Now is the time to prune summer-flowering plants that have finished their main flowering period. Ever-blooming plants such as Seaside Daisy respond well to a hard haircut at this time, as long as you water them well. Cut them down to only 2cm above ground level to remove the old thatch. This will encourage fresh new growth and flowers.

Lightly prune hedges that have become unsightly throughout summer, prior to them putting on new growth with the rains.

So, enjoy autumn in your garden, and try to do as much as you can over the Easter break to set your garden up for the rest of the year.

And as always, happy gardening.

Over the next few months, gardens with deciduous trees and plants will have

access to an abundance of autumn leaves. View

them as a precious resource of organic matter

and recycle them, either by adding them

to your compost, or, if they are small and soft

and break down readily, use them directly

on your garden beds as mulch. If you have huge quantities of deciduous leaves, too many

for your compost bin to handle, use the

leaves to make leaf mould, a wonderful additive

for your soil to help increase the soil’s water holding capacity. To do this simply make

an enclosure about 1 to 1.5m square from

wood, corrugated iron or even chicken wire

wrapped around 4-star droppers. If you make

the chicken wire option, line the inside with

large pieces of cardboard held in place with twitched wire or cable ties to best contain

the leaf mould. Then simply pile your leaves inside, adding a layer of organic fertilizer every 15-30cm. To make this break down quicker, run your mower over dry leaves

first to chop them up. Keep the pile moist

and ensure you turn regularly.

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