If you’ve got the right clobber, nothing is more refreshing than being in the garden in autumn.
So don’t let the crisp, chilly days stop you! Add the following essentials to your wardrobe and you’ll get you through the cooler months outdoors and in style.
Autumn rains make for muddy borders and, if you’re out in the garden at this time of year, you’re going to need some sturdy Wellington boots to keep your feet dry and toasty.
Wellies come in a range of types so knowing the options is important when making sure the right boot’s on the right foot.
First up, height.
Some wellies rise to the ankle, others to the knee, others to the thigh, and deciding which is best depends on the job.
Short wellies are fantastic for keeping your feet dry during lighter garden tasks, such as planting up your winter containers, as their shortness makes for greater mobility.
However, for heavier work in the garden, like mulching beds or planting shrubs, knee-high boots are more likely to offer the protection you need.
They’ll stop stray compost from finding its way into your socks and protect your ankles from scrapes as you’re working. You’re unlikely to need thigh high wellies unless you’re wading into a garden pond to give it a clean or walking the dog through flood waters but they are perfect if your primary need is for thorough waterproofing without flexibility in bending and twisting.
Next up, material. Muddy music festivals have led to an influx of fashion wellies into the marketplace but keep in mind that these brightly-coloured boots are generally not as tough as proper garden wellies. For true mud and rain proof footwear that lasts, you can’t beat wellies made from good old-fashioned rubber—and wellies made from a single piece of rubber are even better as there are no gaps to allow water through. Finally, grip. If you’re going to be knee-deep in mud down at the allotment, choosing wellies with an extra deep tread and an anti-split reinforced sole is a must. These will stop you slip sliding away while at the veggie patch.
Garden gloves have two jobs at this time of year: keeping your hands warm and keeping them protected. Some gloves are good at one but not so good at the other.
Recently, I’ve discovered SKYTEC Argon gloves, which are fantastic at both.
They have a double-insulated liner with a foam coating over the palms, knuckles and fingers which makes them especially warm in cold weather and they are made from a hard-wearing material that allows you to really put them through their paces.
Planting evergreens for late garden colour? Popping some winter-flowering pansies in your window boxes? Get a pair of these in your shed this autumn and you’ll be reaching for them whatever you’re doing.
I have to say I have an array of coats and jackets at home which I swap depending on the weather and the job I’m doing in the garden.
I have a trusty body warmer to keep my core snug while allowing my arms freedom of movement. This is fantastic for jobs that require a lot of spade action, such as planting fruit trees.
If it starts torrenting down, mind you, I reach for a full waterproof jacket that makes me look like a mountain explorer!
For working out in heavy rain, choose a jacket with no gaps where rain or wind can force their way in—I’m talking elasticated hoods and wrists that cling to the body, and a zip made from weatherproof material.
These features will keep you dry and cosy even if it’s bucketing down. If you want to treat yourself, a feather-filled gilet cannot be surpassed for warmth.
For extra comfort and a touch of panache, try some fleecy welly socks in your wellies. Available in all sorts of great colours, they give you the cosiness of wearing slippers in the great outdoors.
You can even get branded ones to turn your internet bargain boots into branded super wellies! They also make for a great twist on the traditional Christmas present if you have an avid gardener in your family.
If you want added waterproof protection, you can also find waterproof welly socks—these can be great for shorter wellies if you need the flexibility without the misery of having wet toes.
There’s nothing quite as depressing as the sinking feeling you get from kneeling uncomfortably on wet muddy ground at this time of year. So another autumn garden essential is a good quality kneeler.
You can buy waterproof, anti-slip knee pads to wear over your trousers—but if you prefer not to look like you’re heading for the local skate park, you can always invest in a foam kneeling pad, like the one produced by Kent and Stowe. This pad is comfortably soft and both water and stain resistant, so great for use in wet autumn weather whenever kneeling is called for!
Add these clothing essentials to your collection this autumn and you’ll be gardening all season long, whatever the weather.
Empty a sugar sachet into the palm
of your hand along with some hand soap
and rub together under running water
for a powerful and cost-effective
way to remove garden dirt.
How can I prepare my paving for winter?
To prepare paving for the cold months ahead, clear slabs of debris, like fallen leaves or weeds, and give them a good clean with a stiff brush and water. Check for damage and fill cracks now to stop them becoming worse in icy weather. Finally, invest in grit or salt and sprinkle on paving to keep it safe in frosty conditions.
How can I protect my brassicas from birds?
Brassicas, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages are all targets for birds at this time of year.
Protect them by erecting a fruit cage around plants or covering them with netting. This equipment is available from most garden centres.