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Essential Tools for Autumn

Essential Tools for Autumn
Posted on 06/10/09 | Posted by The Fat Gardener

As the leaves begin to colour, fade and fall I begin to think about the vast amount of jobs I need to do in the garden before Winter arrives.

I have written about rakes and blowers in the past and we always sell many of each during the Autumn. Blower vacs are especially popular these days as they reduce leaves into such small particles which aid their decomposition and speed up the production of a really good leaf mould compost.

It is important to rake up your fallen leaves, not only for the sake of presentation, but also because pests and diseases like to over-winter under piles of leaves. These pests include the Horse Chestnut leaf minor which are disfiguring (if not destroying) Chestnut stocks in the south of England and Photinia leaf spot.

The best rake available is the Bulldog Wizard or Merlin rake which allows the gardener to ‘sweep’ leaves on uneven surfaces like drives, paths, decking and patios whilst not damaging underlying lawns or borders. If you want a light leaf rake that will rake up large amounts of leaves then a plastic leaf rake will be the right choice particularly if it has a strong, long handle.

With cold, wet, windy weather coming, a pair of good gloves like Briers Royales will help to protect your hands (the best garden tools you own) from the elements. Gardening gloves are especially useful if you are picking up piles of leaves which may have hidden spikes in them!

Scarifying your lawn with a Bulldog Springbok rake will pay dividends in the long run, removing all the dead thatch and allowing new grass shoots to grow through in the Spring. Your lawn would also benefit from using a spiking fork to stop compaction occurring in the roots.

This time of year is when many of us decide to prune trees and hedges. Whilst I prefer to do this in the Spring, there is no denying that with fewer leaves on the trees ‘shaping’ can become a much easier task. It is important to keep any cuts you make smooth and clean. Sawing with a Silky Saw will ensure a very quick, clean cut and using the best loppers you can afford will mean that the wound on the tree will heal quicker and with less chance of infection.

Late season planting can also be effective while the soil is still warm(ish) and a good stainless steel trowel will make life much easier, whilst a strong border spade is perfect for digging bigger planting holes for shrubs.

If you look after your tools during the Autumn months they will certainly look after you and you will really reap the benefits of your hard work when Spring comes.

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