THINGS TO DO
Make leaf mould by packing leaves into empty compost bags with a few airholes punched in the sides with a fork or make a corral from chicken wire and pile the leaves inside. Keep them moist and they’ll be ready to use next year. To speed up the process rake leaves onto the lawn and collect with a mower as chopping makes composting twice as fast. After tidying through borders cut weatherbeaten stems right down to the ground, tickle over the soil with the tines of a fork to remove foot-marks and leave an attractive finish.
It’s the ideal time to plant tulip bulbs as well as bareroot trees, hedges and roses – they’ll quickly establish as the soil is still warm from summer. Feed high-fat peanuts and suet treats to birds to fatten them up and see them through winter and put out proprietary hedgehog feed or pet food to help hedgehogs about to go into hibernation. Collect any mummified fruit that’s still in the branches of apples, pears and plums. They are infected with ‘brown rot’ and collecting stops the disease from spreading.