Thursday 2 November 2017

Gardening jobs...November

Now the clocks have changed and the days are much shorter it's very easy to forget about the garden. There are lots of little jobs that can be done that will bring instant benefit to your garden now but also later next year.

Fill pots and baskets for a winter display – There's plenty of plants available at time of year that can make up a nice and colourful winter display. Look out for cyclamen, winter pansies and winter flowering heathers.

Plant bare-root trees, plants and perennials – As long as your ground isn't waterlogged or frozen November is the perfect time to plant bare-roots. Not only will they be cheaper because they aren't being sold in full leaf but also the autumn soil conditions encourages new growth. If you're wanting fruit trees or hedging now is the time to buy them and get them in the ground.

Check stored fruit and vegetables – We still have a lot of produce from our allotment in storage. If you have crops such as potatoes, onions, garlic, apples and pears make sure they are still in good condition but discard any that show signs of bruising or rotting to the compost heap.

Aerate compost heap – Although the colder weather may slow down the decomposition process you can help things along by turning or stirring your compost pile. It also gives you the opportunity to look at how the compost is coming along. If it looks rather wet or slimy hold back adding anything else that will add to the problem. Instead put in some dry material such as wood cuttings, cardboard loo rolls or egg boxes.

Dig up dahlias – I love the colour and vibrancy that dahlias bring in the autumn but once the first frost hits them they will go black. Dig up the tubers and store them until you ready to replant them again come May or early June when the last frost has passed.

Cut back herbaceous perennials – Any parts of the plants that haven't died back yet need to be cut down to ground level so just the crown remains. Cover them with mulch to both protect from frost but also to suppress weeds and provide nutrients to the ground.

Plant tulips and lilies – It's not too late to plant some spring flowering bulbs. Do this after tidying up the borders so you can see where they will fit in best.

What are your gardening plans for November? Are you going to brave the cold weather?

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