IN the second instalment of our new gardening column, Russell Jarvis, from R&R Landscapes, provides some top tips on how to tackle the problem of autumn leaves piling up in your garden...


LEAVES, leaves, leaves – that is all everyone is talking about, and with good reason.

I am sure we can all agree that we are incredibly fortunate to live in an area that is brimming with unrivalled natural beauty.

Having four seasons is a gift and there is nothing more pleasing to the eye than mature trees during the first few weeks of autumn.

Our deciduous friends transform completely, taking on vibrant shades of red, yellow, purple, orange and even blue.

That said, while the colours are a marvel to behold, they raise a sense of urgency in the mind of a gardener.

Gardeners know that if you “leave” them lying around, you are ultimately jeopardising the health of your other plants and shrubs.

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This month, the best thing you can do for your garden is clear autumn leaves from your grass. Lawns are living and breathing organisms, and they need air and water to survive – you have to nurture them so that they remain in good health.

Another reason to tackle leaves now is because once they turn to mulch, removing them can be a tedious and costly process.

“But I have a leaf blower,” I hear you say. Leaf blowers, though, are designed to tackle dry leaves, which is not exactly what we have here in Helensburgh – it is a false economy.

You will spend more time and fuel clearing them when they are wet and you will be kicking yourself for not acting on it earlier.

Perhaps the biggest incentive of all is that if you neglect to clear leaves from your guttering, they can overflow and end up damaging your property, which can result in costly maintenance fees that could have otherwise been avoided.

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My top tips for November are:

· Most importantly, keep your lawns clear of falling leaves, as well as shrubs. This will preserve and set your grass and plants up for a healthy future.

· Clear out your gutters now, and then repeat the process in spring to avoid costly property maintenance bills.

· Don’t throw the leaves away, repurpose them into compost. If you mix the leaves with other green materials from the garden, they will break down over time and act as the perfect stimulant for your other plantings.

· Look after your leaf blower – they’re expensive and should be used at the right time, not when leaves are sodden and glued to the ground.