Things to remember this November...
As autumn heads towards winter, the main gardening tasks revolve around tidying up and protecting plants. The must-dos for the month include insulating your outdoor containers from the frosts. You can do this by wrapping them in fleece or bubble wrap tied in with twine. While you’re at it, raise the pots off the ground using chocks or bricks to prevent waterlogging.
Keep gathering up fallen leaves, too, particularly from roses that might have blackspot, as leaving them will increase the risk of reinfection next year.
Examine your herbaceous perennials, cutting back the yellowing foliage, and lifting and dividing overcrowded clumps to maintain their vigour and provide more plants for elsewhere in the garden. As for your lawn, check it to see if it needs aerating and if it does, then press on with it before winter proper sets in. And, if you haven’t already cleared out and disinfected your greenhouse, then get it done now so that any overwintering pests can be eradicated.
Tip of the month
Cut some berry-covered holly stems for next month’s festive garlands, but remember to leave plenty for the birds to feed on. Stand the sprigs in a bucket of water in a sheltered position until you’re ready to use them
Q: I’d like to grow my own walnuts. How do I go about it?
A: I have a walnut tree and it crops quite well – as long as I beat the squirrels to the fruits! They’re most productive if planted in fertile, free-draining – though moistureretentive – soil. They like a sunny position, although they’re not happy in frost pockets or places exposed to strong winds.
Over time they’ll settle, but they do have a very broad canopy so be sure to give them room. Trees planted around now tend to establish themselves the best. Mulching around the base for the fi rst few years will help with moisture retention and keep the weeds at bay. In time it will fl ower and crop for you.
You may also like