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Essential garden tools to tackle Autumn 2021

It’s coming to that time of year again. With the nights starting to draw in, leaves begin to fall, and we find ourselves waking up every morning in darkness. Yeah, you got it… Autumn is upon us once again and it’s time to get the garden tools out.  

Autumn is known for its rapid decrease of heat, causing all your favourite plants in your garden to stop growing and an endless about of red, orange and brown appearing. Preparing our gardens for winter can feel like a never-ending task; however, investing your time into them now will pay massive dividends once Spring comes around. 

By the end of this article, you will have a great understanding of some of the common maintenance jobs required throughout Autumn, along with the ideal garden tool to tackle them with. 

What are the common garden jobs are undertaken in Autumn?

During the Autumn months, we want to clear out everything that has grown during the year and allow your garden to reset before spring arrives. Some very common jobs that you might expect to undertake are as follows.

  • Hedge cutting and seasonal pruning
  • Removing old dead tree stumps
  • Preparing soil for planting next years vegetables
  • Leaf blowing 
  • Remove thatch from the lawn

As you can see, there is quite a lot to prepare for winter. Not all these jobs will apply to your household and garden, therefore please feel free to use the following information that applies to you and your home. 

Hedge cutting and seasonal pruning

Why cut hedges in Autumn?

Hedge cutting is an important task in any household garden. It keeps them compact and neat. Hedge trimming and maintenance should start in the early years of the hedge’s planting to distinguish shape and thickness. Depending on the species of the hedge will determine when the latest you should cut them. In most cases, Autumn is the last possible time to do so before winter. Be aware, you are not allowed by law to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built, or to intentionally kill, injure or take chicks or adults, or intentionally take or destroy any eggs. (Wildlife and Countryside act of 1981) whilst hedge cutting. However, by choosing to cut your hedges during the Autumn months, you reduce the chance of having any nesting birds in your hedges. 

What garden tools to use?

Subject to the size of your hedge will determine the best choice of equipment to use. If  you find it is no higher than 7ft tall, you can opt for a petrol hedge trimmer. Hedge trimmers are specifically designed to trim, shape and prune hedges, leaving them neat and without the use of excessive manual labour. Always make sure that your petrol hedge trimmers blades are sharp to avoid causing too much excess damage to your hedge or bushes. The goal is to preserve and shape them, not hack away at them. If your hedges are over 7ft or at a height that is difficult to reach, invest in using a long reach hedge trimmer option. This style of hedge trimmer has a swivel adjusting blade that allows you to cut different angles from the floor, along with double-sided cutting ability. Always make sure that you wear adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) whilst using any type of hedge trimmers.

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Removing old dead tree stumps

Why remove old dead tree stumps in Autumn?

If you have any old tree stumps in your garden, then there is no better time than Autumn to have them removed. Old tree stumps harbour fungi, some of which can be dangerous to household pets and humans, not forgetting to any other existing plants in your garden. Tree stumps are also a trip hazard in high traffic area. They also offer shelter to numerous types of vermin during the Winter cold months, which can be concerning for some homeowners. 

What garden tools can you use to remove tree stumps?

Depending on the size of the existing tree stump can determine which tool to use. Small tree stumps can be dug out by hand with a spade, however, if the tree stump is much larger, you might use a stump grinder. Stumper grinders are large tools operated by a petrol motor designed to help you remove the whole stump of a tree. It works by chipping away at the stump with its rotating toothed head, leaving wood shavings behind. The head of the grinder is passed backwards and forwards over the stump until it is ground completely away. These machines come in a range of sizes, from the size of a lawnmower to specialist equipment the size of a digger. If you decide you wish to remove any stumps that are remaining in your garden, make sure that you wear adequate PPE to protect yourself. Stump grinders are very loud garden tools that can damage your hearing. 

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Preparing soil for planting next year’s vegetables

Why prepare your soil?

If you are lucky enough to have room to grow your own fruit and vegetables, then Autumn is the time to prepare your ground for the following year. Once you have picked all that has grown from the previous season, you want to make sure that the soil can aerate and break down during the winter months. It is also the time that if you want to add any compost into your soil. By doing so, you can ensure that your soil is rich in all the right nutrients for planting in the new year. 

What garden tools can be used to prepare soil?

Preparing soil can be a very lengthy task and your equipment choice can vary, subject to the area you are working with. The most effective tool to help you prepare your soil for the following season is a rotavator. A rotavator is a powerful garden tool, which churns up and aerates soil before planting. It is a popular tool to be used in gardens, allotments and also fields. The machine uses blades that rotate to break up the soil as the machine moves forward. This improves drainage, surface levels and allows you to add compost into your soil as you go. Rotavators range in many sizes, from small versions such as tillers to models which can be used on the back of a tractor. They are easy to operate and take an enormous amount of effort out of digging and turning your soil yourself by hand. Always make sure that you wear adequate PPE when operating this machinery. 

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Leaf blowing 

Why should you take on leaf blowing in Autumn?

Autumn’s most famous characteristic. Leaves… and a lot of them at that. We can all agree that the changing of the colour of leaves on trees during autumn is something quite special. However, as soon as they fall, they can start causing problems with our homes and gardens. Leaves can block drains, as well as reduce the overall amount of water directly to be absorbed by our gardens soil. Not forgetting to mention how messy they can make your garden appear overall. Fallen leaves are an essential part of our ecosystem, therefore, we mustn’t remove absolutely everything during the process. Gathering them up before adding to your compost heap requires a lot of work. You will be amazed how much debris will come from one small deciduous tree. 

What garden tools can be used to round up unwanted leaves?

There are several tools available on the market to round up unwanted leaves, however, there is none more effective than a leaf blower. A leaf blower is designed to propel air from its nozzle to move leaves and all other debris you would expect to find in your garden. Leaf blowers come in all shapes and sizes, from handheld to heavy-duty backpack blowers. These tools can speed up the entire job and allow you to organise the debris into piles to be removed easily. Some leaf blowers even double down to leaf vacuums which mulch debris as it is taken up by the machine. The larger the number of leaves you have to deal with, the larger the tool you will require. Leaf blowers with inadequate power cannot move large numbers of leaves at one time. Although they are simple pieces of equipment to operate, you must make sure you wear suitable PPE whilst operating.

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Remove thatch from the lawn

Why should you remove thatch from your lawn?

Thatch is a matted layer of dead grass, moss and other materials that builds up over time on your lawn. This dense layer of dead substance compacts down, damaging and weakening new grass blades that are trying to break through the soil surface. Without removing thatch from your lawn, it will become patchy and begin to die. It effectively chocks your lawn and deprives it of the sunlight and water that is required to grow strong and thick. Autumn is the ideal time for removing thatch from your lawn, due its growth rate slowing down. By doing so, it allows the ground enough time to repair itself before spring comes along the following year. This is a great opportunity to reseed if you feel as if your lawn requires any further maintenance. 

What to use to remove thatch from your lawn?

Removing surface thatch is an essential part of lawn care and the help you undertake this process; the most effective way is to use a scarifier. A scarifier is designed to cut through the soil to remove dead grass, moss, and all other surface debris. The machine itself looks very similar to a lawnmower and is used similarly. Passing the scarifier up and down your lawn as you would when mowing, will allow the machine to aerate your lawn and uplift any unwanted matted debris lying on the surface. Sacrifices have several height settings, meaning they can cater to any length of the lawn. Be aware that going too deep with a scarifier can seriously damage the root structure of your lawn. Make sure to always start on the highest setting first and abide by the safety information provided.

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WHC Hire Services are committed to supplying the nation with the highest quality garden tools and grounds keeping equipment. Since 1997, we have offered a vast range of tools and machinery for all different types of projects. With depots in Tewkesbury, Worcester and the Cotswolds, we are available and on hand when you need us. With consistent investment into the quality of our equipment, we can assure that customers, contractors and businesses (no matter their size) receive their required tools on time and in perfect working condition.

Click here to see our full range of garden tools and grounds keeping equipment for Autumn 2021, or call 01684377977 to discuss your project with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team. Together, we can help you get the job done right.