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Welcome to November, it has certainly been a very wet October. The milder weather has kept things going a bit longer which has felt a little unusual. The sunny days have been very welcome and how beautiful to feel the warmth of the sun. We got the winter duvets out of our loft at the weekend and it's been lovely to feel cosy again. The sheepskin slippers have been dusted off too!
Now is a good time to get on with the very important task of tool and machinery maintenance.
This is something I have always enjoyed. I think it takes me back to my childhood growing up in the nursery. I would go into the buildings that housed tractors, rotavators, implements, and tools and could smell the oil and grease.
The old well-used tools that were worn and just perfect. A spade that had belonged to my dad and his dad before him, all shiny and sharp. Cans of oil and tubes of grease on the benches.
I like my shed to be a bit more orderly than I remember things being back then. I can though as it's what I do in my downtime.
I like to use this time of year, once the garden has been pretty much put to bed, to get everything clean and go through tools. I make sure they are all free of soil and are clean, dry and well-oiled or greased. An old oily rag is great for this.
Use a file to sharpen shears and mower blades. Of course, if you take your mower for a service they will do this.
Cleaning plugs and ensuring pull cords are all in good order. As long as all moving parts are lubricated they will sit nicely over winter ready for next year.
Clean and sharpen secateurs too and check if blades need replacing on saws.
Keep clearing leaves as they start to fall – check out Mountfield’s great range of leaf blowers and vacs to help you with this!
If possible, store some salt ready to grit around the front door and paths when it is icy.
Raise containers and pots to prepare for frosts and to prevent waterlogging.
Apply mulch onto beds and borders, it's a good way to use spent compost from this year's displays.
Put birdfeeders out and a supply of water.
Plant bare root hedging, trees, shrubs and roses.
Plant tulip bulbs.
Onions, Shallots and garlic can be planted out now for a spring harvest.
Asparagus crowns are lovely to grow yourself and are worth a try. They can be quite expensive to buy otherwise.
Plant raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries and currants.
These are just a few jobs for this month so once the hard work is complete, put your feet up and have a look at what's on offer for next year and start planning, one of the best jobs to do on a cold dark night with a hot drink (or a glass of wine).
Next month we will be talking about what to prune, what will be ready to harvest and how to make your own wreath or table centrepiece.