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Welcome to November! The weather has been very changeable lately, the milder days have been very pleasant. The year seems to have gone so fast! Christmas is around the corner and we have plans for what we want to sow and grow in the allotment next year.
We have started to collect leaves from the lawn to make leaf mold as I discussed last month – a Mountfield leaf blower is the perfect tool for this job – check out the range here. Our youngest loves helping, finding special leaves that look interesting and collecting them along with acorns and other finds. It’s a lovely time of year for all ages. Who doesn’t enjoy a walk kicking their feet through the leaves, it brings back memories of playing out as children, enjoying the day as long as possible before the light went and it started to get chilly. Then it was back in to warm up and enjoy a cozy evening and a hot chocolate if we were lucky.
Being outdoors we notice so much, we can really help our wildlife by providing a home for them with insect hotels, log piles, overwintering stems and having a bird feeder to name a few. Keep a check on what type of birds you have visiting your garden, that will ensure you get the correct type of food for them. Provide water also if you can and make sure if doesn’t become frozen.
Pruning Apple and Pear trees - This is the time to start, up until early spring. Mountfield have a great range of pruners and multi-tools to help you keep on top of the pruning in your garden. We have seen bumper crops this year, crumbles and lots of juicing going on for us, delicious!
For trees, make sure the checks are made for any stems or branches that are dead, damaged, diseased or crossing. This is similar to rose pruning where a nice open goblet is created. This will allow good health, around five outward-facing stems is good with younger trees. Remove any unwanted stems and suckers from the base. Cut back the previous year's growth by a third ensuring your cut is above an outward-facing bud.
It is important to know if your tree is tip or spur-bearing. Find out when you buy your tree, if your tree has been inherited then watch where it bears fruit. Prune some of the branches that are strong keep them shorter. Some trees are left and you will notice the branches are far too long, often some of the younger weaker ones that should have been removed. This will keep your trees as productive as possible.
Cordons, Espalier and fans can be pruned towards the end of summer.
What can we plant now? We love a trip to the garden centre always, somehow making space for new additions or we may revamp a bed. Potting up an autumn-winter planter is a nice creative job. Something to spruce up your doorstep. Or plant up a hanging basket.
It is a good time to plant bare-root trees and roses. Think about balance as I have mentioned previously. A good balance of evergreen, flowering, winter flowering or ornamental stems, plants that are good for wildlife.
Veggies to sow seed of include spring cabbage, my favourite! Cut and come again salad. Rhubarb crowns can be planted now, Spring bulbs, herbs for use throughout the winter, use a sunny windowsill, greenhouse or poly tunnel for protection.
Next month we will be talking about jobs for December in the garden, checking and maintenance of tools and machinery and garden furniture.