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1 November 2013

November Gardening Tasks

There is still plenty of tidying up and preparation to do in the garden this month along with some planting. I'm sure some of the following jobs will apply to you.

Before the first frosts arrive, move tender plants and bulbs into the greenhouse or a sheltered position, or failing that protect them in-situ with bubblewrap. Your alpines will appreciate protection from the wet.

Large tubs that may crack in the frost should be insulated over the winter with fleece, hessian or bubblewrap. Raising containers onto feet will stop them getting waterlogged.

Remove fallen leaves from around borders, lawns and ponds. You can add them to your compost heap, though I prefer to keep them separate to make leafmould, as some leaves are slow to break down and delay your compost. Collecting them with a lawnmower chops them up and speeds up the process.

Roses and buddleias can be shortened by about a third to prevent wind rock. Pruning can then be completed in spring when the sap is rising.

There is still time to lift and split overgrown herbaceous perennials, while others will need cutting down when faded. Remove any supports as you go along. You can also tidy up your ornamental grasses and bamboo.

Once the first frosts have hit your dahlias and cannas they can be lifted and packed for storage over winter.

Autumn is a good time to prepare new flower beds, digging in well-rotted manure if possible. They will then have time to settle before planting in the spring.

Digging over any bare patches of garden will improve the soil structure and help to remove weeds.

The never-ending battle with weeds continues, so keep your hoe handy. This is a good time to dig up perennial weeds with long tap roots, as the soil may be more workable - especially clay.

November is the time for planting tulip bulbs to give you a display next spring. You can also plant lily bulbs in pots this month, leaving them outside for summer flowering or bringing them inside next spring for an earlier display.

It's not too late to plant out winter bedding such as wallflowers, primula, bellis and winter pansies for example. Plant them either in pots using compost, or in well-prepared ground.

You can take root cuttings throughout the winter of plants such as verbascum, phlox and poppies, while November - December is the best time to take hard-wood cuttings.

And finally, now that it is harder for birds to find food, don't forget to put wild bird food out for them, and also a supply of water if possible.

Let's hope for a fine November to get these jobs done!

 







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