What to do in the Garden November

Much easier to get jobs done now before Christmas.From January onwards it can be very cold in the garden. Spring bulbs( after Christmas) will suddenly start to appear making it very difficult to hoe herbaceous borders also soil heat levels drop  considerably. It is also important not to be too tidy, as we share our gardens with all kinds of creatures who also need shelter from the elements and places to hibernate safely.

  1. Finish planting any bulbs you have, except  maybe  tulips which can be plants as late as January.
  2. Any seedlings self-sown in gravel or in you herbaceous beds, lift and pot up ( Plants for free).Sow broad beans, onion sets and garlic.Harvest Jerusalem artichokes, saving some tutors to resow.Divide large rhubarb stools.
  3. Plant colourful, cyclamen, violas, and polyanthus  to give a splash of colour. Erica (need  eracious compost) and hellebores will start to come into their own, see what the garden centres have for sale . Also check out scented shrubs for now, you will be surprised.
  4. Plan how you are going to care for  your Dahlias through the coldest months — lift or leave in  the ground? They will die back with the first frosts.Cover with a “blanket” of mulch to protect the tubers and also the exposed soil from rain compaction.
  5. Take hardwood cuttings of roses, favourite shrubs, fig, gooseberries to name a few.
  6. Trim your lawn edges as  probably lawn is too wet to mow.Also spike and brush sharp sand or grit into the holes to improve drainage — give the lawn a good scratch.
  7. Containers believe it or not can dry out, not much watering will be required, the same applies to your house plants at this time of year.Lift containers off hard surfaces to allow for drainage and air circulation.Wrap any that might not be frost hardy.Lift your pots to increase air flow and drainage.
  8. Collect as many leaves as possible, run a lawn mower over them — if you can. Store in black plastic bags, lots of holes, stack and forget about them for a long as possible — year.This is how you make leaf mould a very valuable garden resource — add to containers, garden soil, when sterilised good for seed sowing. Leaves at the base of roses, especially if there was black spot should not be composted but should be removed and disposed of separately to help break the cycle of these spores.Remove the top growth of roses to prevent wind rock.
  9. Leave seed heads on plants in the borders. Birds are vital to have in the garden and will keep pest numbers down especially snails, don’t forget they also need to drink.
  10. Check tree ties and stakes. Make sure the ties are not cutting into the trunks. Consider applying  grease bands to the trunks of fruit trees to prevent wingless female winter moths climbing the trunks and laying their eggs in the branches.
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