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Your Garden In November

2nd of November 2007

Now that we have dark evenings it is so easy to forget about the garden but there is a lot to do during November. Trees are losing their leaves and leaves need to be swept up and consigned to the compost heap. Paths and lawns must always be kept clear of leaves. Lawns will need their final cut before cleaning up and oiling the mower and arranging for a service before spring arrives. It is a bit late to feed lawns at this stage but, if no autumn fertilizer has been applied, a light dressing could be applied now; however if the ground is frozen then it is best to keep right off the grass. It’s now time to tidy up the garden before winter sets in and to keep on top of the weeding. Lift the remaining rootcrop vegetables and dig the ground as soon as possible. Dig in farmyard manure where beans, peas, celery and brassicas are to be grown, but not where carrots and parsnips are to be planted. Now is the best time to sow broad beans but it’s a bit late to plant the autumn special onion sets and brassicas but the season could be extended by using tunnel cloches. The greenhouse should be cleaned up prior to bringing in the tender plants for the winter; use Jeyes Fluid or Armillatox to disinfect staging and walls; and any remaining shading material will need to be removed. While the greenhouse is empty it’s a good idea to burn a sulphur candle inside so that over-wintering pests and diseases are destroyed. Make sure that the heater is working and put up a skin of bubble plastic to help conserve the heat. Quite a number of shrubs can be propagated by hardwood cuttings. As they die down, herbaceous border plants need to be cut down and the beds covered with a light mulch. Leave grasses and plants with decorative heads until next spring and penstemmons should only be cut down in the spring. Tender perennials such as geraniums and fuchsias will need to be lifted and potted and taken inside for the winter months. Make sure that the less-hardly shrubs are protected against wind damage and check that trees are properly staked. Late-flowering clematis, some of the shrubs, fruiting currants and rambling roses will need some pruning. All the plant trimmings can go on to the compost heap and a sprinkling of Garotta will help speed up the composting process. Hosepipes should be put away for the winter and outside taps and pipework will need to be lagged. The pond will need cleaning and the electric pump should be dried and put in the shed for the winter. Large prunings which will not compost and any diseased plant material should go on the bonfire. This is the best month to plant bare-root hedging plants and raspberry canes. New season’s roses should be ready for planting now and there is still time to plant spring-flowering bulbs and the whole mass of container-grown plants and autumn bedding plants.

Terry Simmonds

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