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Gardening In November

1st of November 2013

After a warm dry September and cool damp October a big feature of this month will be of much shorter days and leaves falling everywhere. We will all be making big compost heaps and making preparations for winter.

Fruit and vegetables
Before the frosts set in we must get as much digging done as we can. Add farmyard manure except where root crops will be grown next year. This year’s rootcrops will need to be lifted and stored now or may be left in the ground and covered with polythene and a good layer of straw. Harvest Brussels sprouts but keep the pigeons away from all the brassicas. This month new raspberry canes are planted, preferably about a foot (30cms) apart in rows supported by strong wires. This is a good time to plant all kinds of fruit trees and bushes. Sow broad beans and also put in the rest of the early onion sets and garlic. Once leaves are off the trees, pruning of apples and pears can be started. Plums are pruned in the summer.

Flowers and shrubs
Bare root hedging plants, such as beech, privet and quickthorn, can now be planted and it is a good time to plant container grown roses, climbers, trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and conifers. With the exception of heathers, rhododendrons, pieris and camellias, add bonemeal when planting all permanent plants. Cut down herbaceous plants as they become untidy but leave penstemmons untrimmed until the spring and leave grasses and architectural plants because they look good when covered by frost. Lift and divide perennials. Tall growing shrubs and trees will need to be staked so that they do not ’rock’ in the winter winds.

Bulbs and bedding plants
Plant daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinths in the garden, window boxes and containers. Pansies, violas, primroses, polyanthus and half-hardy cyclamen will flower now and can be planted in the garden and in hanging baskets and containers. Plant wallflowers, Canterbury bells and sweet williams.

The greenhouse
If not already done, clean and disinfect the house and fumigate with a sulphur candle while the house is empty. Insulate with bubble plastic. Then bring inside geraniums, fuchsias and other tender perennials. Dahlia tubers will need to be dusted with sulphur dust to prevent rotting. Sweet peas can be sown. Make sure that the heater is working.

Lawn and garden
Keep mowing the grass as long as the ground is reasonably dry but keep off the grass when it is wet or covered by frost. It is rather late to apply autumn lawn fertilizer now. Make sure that leaves are removed from the lawn, remove leaves that have become lodged in shrubs and of course sweep them off the paths. Build the compost heap with prunings and clippings and add Garotta powder to help the rotting process. Feed the birds and provide water when frosty.
Terry Simmonds

This page is edited by Tony

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