Taking the time to prepare your garden and patio for the fall season will certainly pay off in the winter months. The professional residential cleaning experts at MOLLY MAID recommend following these simple tasks to help you prepare your garden for the upcoming season.

1) Tidy up

Fall is the perfect season for those who love wielding the garden shears! Start by trimming back the summer growth to help clean up your garden.

2) Dig out the Foliage

Remove any dead foliage and leaves from flowers and vegetable patches. Dig up any annuals and put them in your compost container. Cut back any flowering perennials and pull any weeds hidden under the plant foliage.

3) Start Composting

Winter gives cuttings and leaves a chance to break down and produce nutrient-rich compost which can be used to boost your garden in the new year. The fall season is the perfect time to turn your compost to prepare it for the upcoming winter months.

4) Embrace the Fall Colours

From the beautiful red, yellow and orange leaves of deciduous trees, such as the Acer, to the lovely purple tones of the Crocus, the fall season brings about a welcomed dash of vibrant colours.

5) Planting for 2016

To prepare your garden for the new year, start by planting spring bulbs, trees and new perennials when the soil is still warm. This will give the plants time to grow stable roots before the winter season.

6) Love your Lawn

In order to obtain a healthy and luscious lawn next spring, begin by reducing the frequency of which you mow your lawn in the fall. Rake up any dead grass and moss that may have built up over the summer months as well. Once you have removed any dead grass and moss, apply a high-potassium fall lawn fertilizer. This will help maintain the nutrient balance of your lawn throughout the winter.

7) Cover up your Furniture

As the fall season approaches, and the weather gets colder, begin preparing your patio furniture for winter by storing it in your shed or garage. If you do not have room for your patio furniture in your garage or shed, you can cover it with a tough waterproof sheet, secured firmly to the ground. You want to make sure you allow plenty of air to circulate under the sheet to allow the moisture on your furniture to dry. Wooden items, such as benches, can be protected by spraying them with a weather treatment or preservative.

8) Give Wildlife a Hand

Encourage birds to your garden by providing them with extra food. Place your birdfeeder near a tall shrub, fence or mature tree to provide protection from predators. You can also plant firethorn, rowan or holly plants as an extra source of food for birds and other wildlife.

9) Protect your Pond

Cover your pond with a net to prevent leaves from falling in and polluting the water. Make sure you clean the pond regularly to stop the net from sinking. If your pond contains fish, ensure their survival throughout the winter months by preventing the water from freezing. Make sure the pond is as deep as possible, as fish tend to live at the lowest depths during the winter months.