If you feed the birds, beware rotten nuts.
•Less foliage in the garden makes it seem like there are more cats are around. Buy a pot of garlic paste and dip six-inch long sticks into the paste so that three inches of paste is on top of the sticks. Push the sticks into the ground. A vet told me cats hate the smell of garlic.
•If you can’t be bothered to clean out the pond, (the best time is as soon as all the leaves have fallen) take the water pump out, give it a scrub and keep it in a dry shed all winter. If you do clean out the pond at this time of year, the water is not too cold, there is less shock for the fish and there is no frogspawn to worry about.
•Bear in mind this is the best time of year to transplant trees and shrubs. You would be surprised how many letters I receive every year asking if it is too late to do this job in June! When transplanting or moving plants around, please make sure you choose a nice day and don’t be pushed into trying to do it when the weather is unsuitable. There’s nothing worse...
•If fencing posts have to be renewed, look at Metpost fixings. They make the job a lot easier. Postmix is easy to use too. Dig the hole, put in the post and pour in the dry mix. Soak the ends of the posts in creosote substitute overnight. There’s nothing wrong with creosote substitute by the way, it’s good as well as cheap.
•Check there are no rotten nuts in bird feeders. Rotten nuts kill blue tits. Please put water out for the birds.
•Plant seeds of early peas in cells in the cold greenhouse, only two pea seeds in each cell, using the 24 cells which fit in a standard seed tray. No heat needed, just make sure they are in a place where mice can't get them. Keep them on the dry side otherwise they will rot. Be careful not to give them too much water.
•Save up for a soil-warming cable for the greenhouse or buy one as a present for the gardener in your life for Christmas.