Professional gardener - Treat your timbers

Fencing & timber structures Winter may seem a long way off, but now is a good time to take advantage of dry spells and treat timbers with preservative, giving them a makeover and preparing them for the wet, windy and frosty conditions to come.

Pest & weed control Recent hot weather has seen a huge rise in aphids — control as necessary. Top up mulches up to suppress weeds.

Trees & shrubs Plan any moves so that necessary equipment can be ordered in plenty of time.

Climbers New stems of roses will need training into shape while they are still soft and pliable. Feed any plants growing next to walls and mulch around the stems.

Flowers Provide extra support to herbaceous plants as needed. Record performance details for annuals and new plants.

Watering Check that irrigation systems are working efficiently and are programmed to supply water only when needed. Keep an eye out for leaks from hoses and taps.

Cuttings This month is a good time for taking cuttings of geraniums and pelargoniums. If rooted now, the new plants will have a bigger root system and stand a better chance of overwintering.

Kitchen garden Tie in new stems of raspberries. Feed autumn-fruiting raspberries. Finish harvesting gooseberries, blackcurrants ad redcurrants. Finish summer pruning cordon and espalier fruit trees by the end of the month. Prepare a seed bed for sowing spring cabbage. Update records with notes on yields, quality and resistance to pests and diseases.

Lawns Spike worn areas, water, feed and weed. Finalise plans for new grass areas and overseeding.

Break times Anyone working in the sun should take the opportunity to slap on the sunscreen at break times and after lunch. Drink plenty of water during hot spells.

Hands Do not forget to wash your hands before lunch. A new product to try is EcoHydra Instant Hand Sanitiser. A "clean looking" pair of hands can have 10 million germs that can cause skin infections and food poisoning. EcoHydra kills up to 99.9999 per cent of germs, making it extremely effective. It is alcohol-free, so will not dry out your skin. Enriched with Aloe vera, it also moisturises the hands yet dries quickly without leaving a sticky feel. Available in scented and unscented versions from chemists.

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