WITH November and winter creeping around the corner, it's time to put away the mower and start preparing for the colder season ahead.
Just because summer is over, it doesn't mean you can abandon the garden and only come back to it once the warm spring returns – there are a few tasks to complete.
Offering a helping hand to fellow gardening enthusiasts, experts at The Grass People spoke to The Express and listed the top November gardening jobs to complete before winter arrives.
Look after mower
The general rule of mowing lawns is that if it's growing significantly, you should give it a trim.
However, before you pull out the mower, ensure the blades are sharp and ready to work.
The experts explained: "Just as it isn’t a great idea to mow your grass extremely short in colder weather, it’s also not the best idea to mow it with blunt blades.
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"If you’ve ever tried to shave your stubble with blunt blades – you’ll know all about it!
"Poor results, damaged grass and dare we say… a damaged ego when the lawn looks worse off than it did before you cut it! Sharpen those blades, save your grass… and save face!"
Install a water butt
The experts said: "As November is one of the wettest months, you should be installing and using a water butt so you can start collecting rainwater which can later be used in drier months."
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Take care of garden wildlife
With winter just around the corner, most wildlife is busy collecting food for the cold season – and there are a few ways you can help them.
Leave out food
Providing wild bird food such as seeds, suet balls, mealworms and berries is ideal for hungry birds, as they provide protein and energy.
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Meanwhile, tinned dog/cat food is ideal for hungry hedgehogs, and a protein mixture of nuts, seeds and veggies is the perfect gift for most small mammals.
Provide fresh water
The experts said: "All that hunting and gathering is thirsty work, so leaving fresh water out for weary travellers is a great help.
"This will keep puffed-out passers-by hydrated and send them on their way again. Water is also great for birds so that they can wash and clean their wings.
"You can provide fresh water in a shallow dish, to avoid any mini-animal accidents – just make sure the dish is no deeper than one inch."
Allow free passage
To hedgehogs, gardeners can create a hedgehog "highway".
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society recommends creating a hole in your fence that is 13cm x 13cm, simply by sawing/drilling it out of the wood.
General November advice
As temperatures begin to drop below what is required for seed germination, you will notice that grass has also begun to grow very slowly, becoming almost dormant – this is when it's "time to put away the mower".
The experts added: "There is still time to apply a slow-release autumn/winter fertiliser (recommended) or a quick-release autumn/winter fertiliser to protect against frost and winter-borne diseases.
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''Always ensure to spread at the recommended rate and water in.
"If frost should form on your lawn, avoid walking on it. This will help prevent compaction, frost scorch, disease and lasting footprints."
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