1. Tend to the lawn

Autumn is the perfect time to give your lawn a dose of TLC to help it stay healthy over the winter.

 Aerating the lawn will help to stop it becoming compacted – an affliction that could leave you  with dry, patchy grass that’s more susceptible to disease. It’s heavy work, particularly if you  have a large lawn, so consider enlisting the help of a professional gardener.

Which? lawn-care expert Adelaide Gray also suggests applying an autumn lawn treatment. ‘Use a weed and feed, watering in so as not to scorch the grass.

‘It’s also a good idea to move your mower blades up to leave the grass a bit longer, as it won’t grow as fast in autumn and winter.’

Read our Which? Trusted Trader’s guide for more on looking after your lawn.

2. Prune back trees and shrubs

Cutting back overgrown trees and shrubs helps to reduce debris over winter, and keeps your garden looking tidy.

For pruning larger trees, it’s advisable to use a certified tree surgeon to make sure the job is done effectively and safely, without damaging the tree. If you want to completely remove a tree, check with your local authority to make sure you’re not in a conservation area, and that the tree in question is not protected, before going ahead.

You’ll also need to factor the stump removal into your budget. This may need to be done as a separate job. Find out more in our Which? Trusted Traders guide to stump removal.

Which? Trusted traders can help you find reliable, Which?-endorsed tree surgeons and stump-removal specialists in your area.

3. Protect tender plants from the cold

If you’ve got tender perennials in your garden, such as geraniums or canna, now’s a good time to bring them inside to protect them against harsh winter weather and frost. Pop them in a greenhouse, conservatory or cold frame to give them the right amount of protection and light.

For larger plants that can’t be moved, such as tree ferns or bananas, wrapping them in fleece or hessian is a good way to insulate them from the cold.

Make sure you regularly remove any damp debris or dead leaves to avoid rotting.

4. Jet wash garden surfaces

Stop paths, patios and driveways becoming a slip hazard in wetter weather by pressure washing to remove moss and algae. Use a gentler pressure on grouting and decking to avoid damaging the surface.

For best results, use a Best Buy pressure washer guaranteed to help get the job done quickly and efficiently.

5. Plant spring and summer bulbs

Now’s the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and crocuses. You can plant them directly into the ground, or in a container if you want to add colour to your patio.

Using a Best Buy compost will give your bulbs the best start in life, and help guarantee show-stopping results next spring.

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