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Your Garden In November

2nd of November 2006

After all that autumn colour comes leaf fall and time to make compost! Of course we can fill up the green wheelie bin but it’s more satisfying to make our own compost and all the dead plants we have dug up and the small prunings can go in with the leaves. Don’t forget to add a little Garotta to the compost heap. After all the dry weather we should get plenty of rain to fill the water butts and of course rain water is much better for plants than tap water. Herts County Council are still subsidising water butts and compost bins at the garden centre for Hertfordshire residents.
November is the traditional planting month for bare root plants such as hedging and soft fruit like raspberries. At this time of the year, sap stops rising so it’s the ideal time to dig up and divide herbaceous plants and to move established trees and shrubs.
Digging of the vegetable garden should be well under way now and farmyard manure should be added for all the crops, with the exception of root crops. Lawn mowing should continue until the grass stops growing, but never cut grass too short at this time of the year. The mower will require its annual service so that it is ready for use next spring. Do keep off the grass when it is very wet or frozen. Lay planks on grass if it is necessary to use a barrow. If November starts fairly mild, a light dressing of autumn feed can be applied. Grass seed can still be sown while the ground is still warm, and turfing can be done until the ground becomes frozen.
With the approach of winter, taps and outside pipes will need to be lagged and hosepipes put away. In very windy weather, evergreen shrubs may dry out and need to be watered.
Pots containing evergreens will need to be wrapped up to stop the roots freezing in severe weather. The pump will need to be taken out of the pond and the pond heater put in. The greenhouse will need to be lined with bubble plastic and the heater checked.
Bulbs such and daffodils and tulips can still be planted in the garden and the amaryllis (hippeastrum) will need to be planted indoors. Some of the lilies will need to go in now. Bedding plants such as pansies, violas, primroses and small cyclamen can be planted  and so too can wallflowers, sweet williams, Canterbury bells and forget-me-nots (myosotis). Now is the time to plant roses, fruit trees, alpines, conifers and climbing plants. This is a good time to take hardwood cuttings of many shrubs. Broad beans and some peas can be sown. This is the time of the year when the berried shrubs look their best and when shrubs such as Euonymus alatus and the Blueberries (vaccineum) are a blaze of staggering autumn colour.
Terry Simmonds
 

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