Monthly Archives: November 2020

  • Gardening Calendar for November

     

    November brings thoughts of the coming winter, with brisk country walks, enjoying the last of the autumn colours and relaxing evenings in front of a warm, cosy fire!

    In the garden though, November is often thought of as a time of clearing and tidying, getting things ready for the winter. And with the recent news of a month-long lockdown in England as well as travel restrictions across the country, why not escape to the garden and get it ‘winter-ready’ at the same time.

    Let’s take a look at what needs doing:

     

    Lawns

    Grass still growing? Well you can still mow to keep things tidy, but keep the mower blade high.

     

     

    Rake leaves off the lawn as they fall. It lets light and air into the grass, preventing browning and fungal infections and provides a source of leaf mould if you compost them. Oh! And it provides you with plenty of exercise!

     

    Flowers

    You can still plant bulbs whilst the soil is warm. Make sure you plant at the recommended depth.

    There is still time to sow Sweet Peas for bigger, better plants next year and also some biennials/perennials e.g. Foxglove, Alliums etc.

    Cut back perennials to promote new growth in the spring and clear dead leaves etc.

    It’s also a good time as plants become dormant with lower temperatures and light levels to move plants or split up crowded clumps.

    Plant up winter/spring bedding such as pansies, wallflowers, polyanthus etc. in borders and containers.

     

     

    Shrubs & Roses

    Time for winter pruning to reduce ‘wind-rock’ in winter storms and also remove diseased material. Again, ‘cleanliness’ is paramount to give a clean start next year.

    November is also a good time to plant what are known as ‘bare root’ shrubs as opposed to ‘container’ grown. Bare root plants are lifted straight from the field for sale. They are somewhat cheaper than container plants so are ideal where a number of plants are needed e.g. new hedges.

     

    Vegetables

    There is still time for sowing and planting. Broad Beans such as Aquadulce Claudia and new early Pea, Proval are excellent varieties for early cropping next spring. Should the greenhouse be empty through the winter, successional sowings of a lettuce such as ‘Valian’,  (a winter cropping ‘Little Gem’ type) will provide you with salads through the season.

    Alternatively, try sowing one of the many ‘cut and come again’ leaf salads that mature in just a few weeks. Sowings every 3-4 weeks will keep you in salads right through the winter!

     

     

    Continue planting Garlic and Autumn Onion sets.

    Cover winter brassicas with netting if not already done – the birds will love fresh leaves in winter!

     

    Fruit

    November is a great time for planting bare root ‘top’ fruit such as apples, pears and ‘cane’ fruit such as raspberries, blackcurrants etc. There’s still time to plant strawberries too, whilst cleaning existing beds of leaves and other decaying material.

    Time too to start your fruit tree/bushes pruning.

    So plenty still to do this month in the garden as we move into winter.

     


  • Hints and Tips for November

     

    Lawns - Need detailed advice on creating a new lawn or maintaining/renovating an existing one? Then Google the ‘Lawn Association’ a recently formed organisation for the benefit of both professional and home garden people.

    Flowers - for bulbs, generally speaking, it is important to go by recommended planting depths. Too deep and the bulb may be too wet and rot. Too shallow and the bulb may push its way to the surface as the shoot emerges. The exception may be on light, sandy soils when it may pay to plant a little deeper than that stated on the label, for this very reason.

     

     

    ‘Dead-head’ the flowers on newly planted pansies to make sure they do not set seed. At this stage its important the energy goes into forming a good plant to withstand the winter.

     

    Vegetables - lift parsnips after the first frosts; it’s true, they really do taste sweeter after those first frosts!

    Fruit - planning a raspberry patch? As well as varieties that fruit in the normal summer season, choose some of the more recent autumn fruiting varieties to extend the picking season. Plant them separately though, as their pruning regime is different!

     

     

    November is often the time for gardening catalogues to be dropping through the letterbox with many enticing new varieties and ideas for things to grow next year. More about that in our December blog.

    Many gardening suppliers were overwhelmed with orders this year because of Covid, so it is going to make sense to get your order in early!!

     

     


  • Hints and Tips for October

     

    A bit of thought and action now will prevent trouble next year.

    Clear up fallen leaves which can harbour pests and fungal spores. Place a net over garden ponds to prevent them filling up with leaves.

    Re-use compost from grow bags and containers on the compost heap or as a mulch for garden plants.

     

    Lawns

     

     

    Clear leaves, but you can also use the mower to shred leaves to add humus to the lawn.

     

    Vegetables

    Cut off and clear the stems of peas and beans leaving some 20cms of stem in the ground.

    The roots are nitrogen-fixing during the growing season and will now release nitrogen in the form of nitrates as a plant food in the soil.

    When you cut a cabbage, cut both ways to form a cross on the top of the remaining stem. In due course, you can use the resulting new leaf growth as winter greens.

     

    Flowers

     

    Tender perennial plants may need winter protection. Cut back relevant plants and protect with gardening fleece.

    Remove and store plant support canes. They will last several years if you look after them.

     

    So lots to do in October, but time spent now will give you a clean and tidy start to the new gardening year!

     


     

  • Gardening Calendar - October

     

    Autumn is with us and let’s hope for good weather, to raise our spirits, shorten the winter and give us time to attend to all those essential garden chores!

    There are perhaps not too many benefits associated with COVID 19, but it has meant that more people have ventured off the patio and into the garden. Hopefully, this will encourage new budding gardeners to enjoy the leisure and health benefits of ‘grow your own!’

    So, let’s look at our gardening tasks for October.

     

    Lawns

    Time to think of putting the lawn to bed for the winter. Final mowings should be made with a high mower blade setting. Now’s the time to rake out all the ‘thatch’ of dead grass and detritus with a ‘spring-tine’ rake. It’s hard work, but it keeps you warm on a chilly day!

    Aeration of the roots is also important. Small areas can be spiked with a garden fork, but for larger spaces, you can use a soil aerator machine.

     

     

    Vegetables

    October is normally the time to think about how to store your summer bounty from the vegetable patch. It’s important to bring pumpkins and squashes into shelter to avoid the first frosts for instance.

    When you have cleared the glasshouse of tomatoes, cucumbers etc. you can use it to grow winter salads, but clean and disinfect the glass thoroughly, first!

    Harvest your winter vegetables as required.

    Seed catalogues will be arriving with all the new delights to grow next year. New ‘Blight’ resistant tomatoes are a real advance. Look for the new Crimson Plum with its delicious small fruit, but varieties with other fruit shapes and sizes are available.

     

    Flowers

    Continue to plant spring-flowering bulbs like narcissi, tulips, hyacinth etc. Remember too, the striking effect you can get from planting up containers.

    Many gardeners maintain that the best sweet peas are sown in autumn for summer flowering the following year. A new variety, ‘Supersonic’ offers long stemmed blooms for cutting on easy to manage intermediate height plants.

    Continue to lift tubers and corms from Dahlias, Begonias and Gladioli to store in the garage through winter to start again in spring.

    Lift, divide and re-plant older herbaceous perennials to reduce congestion and improve flowering – and you get further plants for the garden!

    Fruit

    Cut back and tie in the new growth of the canes of varieties that fruited in the summer.

    Lift and split congested clumps of rhubarb.

    Apply ‘winter wash’ to the trunks and branches of fruit trees to rid yourself of overwintering pests.

    Shrubs

    Take hardwood cuttings of e.g. forsythia, ribes and roses.

    Give hedges a final clipping to tidy them up for the winter.

     


     

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