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November In Your Garden

1st of November 2014

The leaves are falling and the garden is becoming dormant. This is the month to get things shipshape, to build compost heaps and to light bonfires and to get things planted before the winter is upon us.

Fruit and vegetables
Lift the root crops before the frost arrives and harvest brassicas but make sure that the pigeons do not damage them. Plant garlic bulbs and early onion sets. To get an early crop next spring, broad beans can be sown in the garden this month. Carry on with the winter digging and add farmyard manure, except where rootcrops will be grown in the new year. Bareroot raspberry canes can be planted and this can continue until next March. Now is a good time to plant all fruit trees and soft fruit bushes.

The flower garden
Plant winter pansies and violas, cyclamen, primroses and polyanthus in the garden, hanging baskets, window boxes, tubs and containers. Wallflowers and sweet williams need to go in as soon as possible. This is the best time to plant tulip bulbs. Daffodils, narcissi, crocus and hyacinths can be planted this month. Cut down herbaceous perennials as they go over but only lightly trim penstemmons. Leave ornamental grasses, sedums, and plants that have shape, that will look good in frosty weather. Fork between the plants and mulch well. Make sure that plants are well labelled. Plant new perennials, if space allows.

Trees and shrubs
This month is a good time to plant roses, shrubs and climbers. Plant ornamental trees, such as flowering crabs (malus), cherries (prunus), thorns (crataegus), mountain ash (sorbus) and silver birch (betula) and stake them well. Conifers can be used for hedges or as specimen plants. Bare root hedging plants, such as privet, beech, hornbeam and quickthorn can be planted from now until March. Established shrubs in the garden can be dug up and moved from now until March whilst they are dormant. Always stake taller plants and protect tender plants from wind damage. Evergreen shrubs in pots and containers need extra protection against frost damage.

The greenhouse
If not already done, clean the house thoroughly using Jeyes Fluid and, while empty, burn a sulphur candle to kill off all the pests and diseases that might be lurking. Line the house with bubble plastic and make sure that the heater is in working order. Then bring in geraniums, fuchsias and other tender plants, together with dahlia tubers, for overwintering.

Lawn and garden
Carry on cutting the lawn as long as the grass is growing and then send the mower for its annual service. Apply an autumn turf fertilizer to the lawn, if not already done. Remove leaves from the grass, paths and plants in the garden. Keep off the grass in very wet weather and frosty weather. Make leaf mould from fallen leaves and make compost from all plant clippings, adding Garotta to the compost heap to aid the rotting process. Do not forget to feed the birds and to provide them with water in frosty weather. Finally, lag outside water pipes and taps to prevent damage from frosts.
Terry Simmonds

This page is edited by Tony

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