The days may be shortening and evenings darkening, but there is still quite a bit to do outdoors in the garden. Now the leaves are falling, it’s a good idea to keep the lawns clear of leaves by raking them off and bagging them up. One of the best things to improve soil is leaf mould. So save the leaves either in a compost bin or a corner of the garden to allow them to rot down. When used, it improves drainage in the soil and adds vital nutrients for plant growth and is a very good mulch too. Even pine needles are worth gathering up in a separate pile, as these can be used to produce acidic leaf mould, ideal for mulching ericaceous plants, such as blueberries, azaleas rhododen-drons and camellias.
Hedgehogs also hibernate soon, so you could provide a place with piles of leaves or a hedgehog house under shrubs, hidden from predators. It’s a good idea to leave a bowl of water out for hedgehogs as they can get dehydrated and not survive the winter. Some cat food they enjoy too. But never leave out milk, as it’s very bad for them. If you find a hedgehog awake in daylight hours, it’s most likely unwell! So it’s wise to contact a local wildlife rescue centre or nearby hedgehog hospital if you can locate one on the internet. Hedgehogs are falling in big numbers due to their habitats being destroyed, or by garden insecticides, garden strimmers or slug pellets killing them.
Enjoy your garden and it’s wildlife!