It’s important not to let fallen leaves lie too long on your lawn, as they block out sunlight and prevent fresh growth. If you have a garden vacuum or leaf blower, clearing them is a pretty straightforward job, but all you really need is a rotary lawnmower.
Adjust the blades to their highest setting and give your entire lawn a quick once-over. The mower will effortlessly lift and collect the leaves in the grass box. And it will thoroughly shred them so they’ll rot down faster in your compost heap. Or if you prefer a more hands-on approach to gardening, simply rake up the leaves manually.
Your grass will continue to grow slowly throughout November and December as long as the temperature remains above 5°C. So if we experience a mild winter, you may want to give your lawn a mow to keep it tidy. But before you do, check the ground isn’t waterlogged - because mowing sodden turf won’t do your grass or your mower any good.
If the ground is firm, raise the blades to around 4cm and cut as normal. Then once you’ve finished, take your garden fork and retrace your steps across the lawn, inserting the spikes and leaning back a little to open up small holes which improve drainage and air circulation.
Protect your fruit trees
Winter moths emerge from their underground pupae at this time of year, and the wingless females climb fruit trees and other deciduous varieties to lay their eggs. And when those eggs hatch in spring, the greedy grubs munch their way through the new leaves. But you can protect your trees by fitting grease bands around the trunk – this pesticide-free solution is incredibly effective at preventing spring infestations.
If you normally cover your patio furniture or store it inside over the winter, now is the time to do so. But that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying your garden during the colder months – just buy a couple of cheap, weatherproof plastic chairs.
Then you can still enjoy a cup of hot chocolate on the patio on a sunny January afternoon while you scan the borders for the emerging shoots of early snowdrops, or sit quietly and watch winter visitors peck at the birdfeeders. And on a clear night, wrap up warm, lean back and try a spot of star-gazing.