Check tree ties, secure stray shoots or branches that might be vulnerable to wind. And check supports and trim climbers to avoid damage. Now is also a good time to cut back deciduous hedges that may have got out of hand. Take off 4-6in more than where you want it to grow back to, leaving space for dense growth.
If you’ve got a greenhouse, cold frame or garage, this is a great time to sow sweet peas to be planted in spring. Make paper tubes from newspaper wrapped round a rolling pin. Pack the tubes into a seed tray vertically, then fill with potting compost and sow two seeds per tube.
When seedlings emerge, you can remove the weaker plant to give the stronger more room. These will be ready for planting in March. Just stick the tubes straight into the ground when you’re ready and the paper will disintegrate in the soil. If you’ve got alpines or a rockery, replenish lost gravel and remove dead leaves. Trim back straggly plants and, if necessary, invest in cloches to protect your most vulnerable specimens.
After borders, it’s time for the lawn. It’s one of the most back-breaking jobs in the garden but raking leaves can be incredibly satisfying. If you leave them, they block light, causing patches of grass to die. You can also apply autumn lawn food to help the roots. Once you’re done, your garden will look great and you’ll have a warm, satisfied glow.