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As the years pass it would seem that the summers are not as long as they once were. Autumn is already approaching and the time has come for those end of summer jobs that must be tackled albeit reluctantly. Just because we can no longer sit in the sun and admire the flowers doesn't mean there aren't garden projects that are ideally suited to this time of year.
Start at the Beginning
For gardeners everywhere, the starting point is putting plants and flowers to bed for the winter. Now is the time to clear out dying and dead foliage, flowers and vegetables. This is necessary to prevent the spread of diseases and to destroy insect eggs which can lie dormant in rotting vegetation.
This is also the best time of the year to carry out any repair work that may be required and to plan next year's garden layout. Why not spend some time making your own cold frame or even build some raised beds to add a whole new look to your ordinary garden? Bigger projects are also best done at the end of the summer before the weather turns for the worse. Cutting down trees, uprooting stumps, building walls or adding features like a brick barbecue or pond are all labour-intensive and best undertaken when the weather is mild.
For very little outlay it is possible to upgrade your garden to give it a totally new look and do more than keep up with the Jones's. Some simple additions or alterations will change your garden completely and most can be done in double-quick time at a reasonable cost.
• Firewood Shed. If you have open fires or a wood-burning stove, building a simple shed to store logs and kindling is easily done by anyone with even minimal DIY skills.
• Decking Facelift. After a summer of use (and misuse), autumn is the time to give worn decking a facelift. Crisp, dry weather is ideal for applying paint or varnish and allows the paint to dry properly.
• Screen It. While multi-coloured bins are a great idea for recycling they just aren't visually appealing in a garden. A small wooden screen is the solution to this eyesore and can become a real garden feature if used as a trellis for creeping vines and plants.
• Wooden Bench and Picnic Table. There is probably nothing simpler to build than your own wooden bench. Some 2x4 and 4x4 wood is easily nailed or screwed together to produce a very functional and visually appealing bench. Why not go all out and also make a wooden picnic table from some planking for next summer's outdoor lunches?
• Install Raised Garden Beds. Another simple autumn project is building your own raised beds for growing next year's vegetables and flowers. Bricks and a little elbow grease are all that is required.
• Build a Cold Frame. A cold frame, or mini greenhouse, is a great idea for keen gardeners who want to get a head start on spring planting.
A Fresh Start
With the growing season effectively coming to an end, autumn is also a good time to replace and refresh the soil in your garden. Over the years the soil loses its mineral and nutrient content and a new layer of topsoil will rejuvenate your garden and promote the growth of healthy and lush grass and plants. Various grades of topsoil are widely available from gardening supply outlets and easily applied to big or small gardens and in raised beds.
The end of summer is also a great time to clear out all that clutter in the garden, house and sheds. This usually entails days of work and hiring a skip to cart away the rubbish but this can be simplified by using a Grab Hire service. Whereas with skips you must find a suitable place to locate it and then fill it, Grab Hire makes the process much simpler. All you do is pile the rubbish in one convenient spot and the grab lorry picks it up when ready. Quicker, cleaner, more efficient and more cost-effective than using skips, Grab Hire is fast becoming the Number One choice for both commercial and domestic waste removal.