In the words of Ferris Bueller, life moves pretty fast. It seems like only yesterday Britain was enjoying (or is that suffering from?) another protracted heatwave. Now we’re dragging the thicker duvet out of the wardrobe and putting the summer clothes away for another year.
As autumn begins to rear its damp, windswept head, it’s time to think about making preparations to protect outdoor areas from the wind and rain that’s sure to follow.
Here are 5 essential jobs to get your garden ready for autumn.
1. Check guttering
Unless you want a cascading water feature outside your back window, it’s best to make sure your guttering and drainpipes are in order before the heavy rain sets in. Start by removing any leaves or other debris that have collected in the gutters around the edge of your roof. While you’re up there, check there aren’t any gaps between the sections of gutter. If there are, use a waterproof sealant to fix them back together. Once safely back down to earth, check drainpipes are securely fixed to walls and tighten any screws or replace bad fixings if necessary. Finally, if your drainpipe finishes in an open drain, scoop out any leaves as they collect so the water can easily drain away.
2. Reinforce fences and gates
While most of us would like a larger garden, not many of us would agree to share it with our neighbour, but an enlarged communal garden is what you could end up with if you lose any fence panels in a storm. Before this happens, check to see if any fence panels, posts or gates need mending, and be sure to replace rotten ones. New fence panels and posts are simple to install, and it’s always cheaper to repair one rickety section instead of a whole row taken out by high winds.
3. Shore up sheds
Garden sheds really come into their own after summer, providing valuable outdoor storage for tools and furniture that need to go into hibernation. To ensure these items remain in good condition, give your shed a check over before the weather gets too bad. One common issue is roof felting falling into disrepair, which can then lead to a leaky roof. Replace any sections of damaged felting – a nail gun can be a great way to save time and effort. Also check windows and panels for damage or leaks – we recommend an all-purpose sealant as a fix.
4. Tidy away garden items
Having reinforced your shed, you can rest easy now you’ve got a safe place to house any fair weather garden items. Put away garden furniture, children’s garden toys, and pots and hanging baskets to prevent them getting damaged by the elements.
5. Water management
Once autumn has arrived, Mother Nature will take care of watering the garden, so you can give the garden hose a rest. Make sure you empty any water out of outside taps and hoses to prevent it freezing and causing damage. If you have a pond you can remove and clean the pump, and try leaving a tennis ball floating on the surface to leave a breathing hole for icebound fish.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended) when it comes to preparing your garden for the colder, wetter months, but by following these five steps you should be prepared for the worst. If you have any further questions about jobs for the garden and the tools and materials required, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team at the depot.