I’ve raked up the last lot of leaves, bagged up some for leaf mould and stuck a few in the compost bin to add some “brown” to the kitchen peelings, tidied over the beds and generally made the garden look a bit more presentable.
If you’ve anything in pots that needs protecting from the frost and snow move them into the shed, conservatory or greenhouse (if you are lucky to own one). If the pots are too big to move, stick some bubble wrap around the bottom to keep them from cracking. With plants you can’t move, protect them with some horticultural fleece or net curtains (a cheap alternative from the second hand shop or skip). A good layer of mulch around plants will keep the soil frost free and keep the moisture in. Cold frames and cloches come in well handy this time of year too. I sowed some overwintering Carrot and Lettuce seeds well late so have stuck a couple of mini cloches over them and hoping for the best.
Now is also a good time to plan what you want to grow next year. Make a list of what you fancy and have a look through the seed catalogues/on the web and see if there’s varieties suitable for your garden and climate. I’ve already ordered a few packets of seeds and they are now in my scottish shortbread tin, so by January I’ll be itching to start them off in trays on the kitchen windowsill (to the detriment of the paintwork which I have to redo every year!)
So like with anything else, a little bit of preparation and forward planning comes in handy with this gardening lark.