Somerset Life - - GARDEN MASTERCLASS -

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.

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