Winter is coming! Not that Game of Thrones showed any gardens of course! November with its short days and cold winds means that plants need protection from frost, gales and freezing rains. However, as winter approaches it’s the best time to prepare.
Leaves are a commodity in any garden and, once transformed into mould, perfect for adding to both compost and mulch. Keep your leaves in a garden container or make a heap at the bottom of the garden. If collecting leaves in a bag, the bag will need to be punctured because the leaves need oxygen so that the bacteria will break the leaves down to mould.
There’s still a little time to plant bulbs for spring as long as the weather is mild and the summer heat hasn’t disappeared from the soil. There are also some lovely winter bedding plants such as wallflowers, pansies and violas. The garden centre advertises that these will flower all winter, especially if they are planted on a sunny day in moist soil. In fact, all annuals should have been removed by now as they’ve reached the end of their lives, so to keep some colour in your garden, replace them with winter bedding plants. And if you’d like to plan for next year, there are plenty of seed catalogues to be had or the internet to browse.
Perennials should be divided and pruned to soil level now to ensure they return next spring as healthy as ever. Work from the middle outwards, pruning back quite harshly, especially if the plants are looking over-crowded. All annuals should have been removed, as they have nothing else to offer, replace these with winter bedding plants to keep the colour in your garden this winter.
As ever, Gardeneer is here to help you prune, tidy up, prepare the soil, move plants into a green house/conservatory or cover anything in your garden which is vulnerable so that it survives the winter.
Jobs for November
- Clearing up leaves from lawns, beds and ponds;
- To prevent waterlogged containers, raise them onto feet;
- Bubblewrap containers to insulate them from frost;
- As you tidy your garden, you’ll find that you uncover many pests hiding beneath plants. Encouraging hungry birds into your garden can ensure slugs and snails are a thing of the past.
- Keep up your bird feed and fresh water this winter, it’ll encourage birds in the coming months, and you’ll see a whole new flock next spring.
- Not all wildlife should be encouraged into your garden; unfortunately little garden pests are hardier than they may look. Keep an eye out for pests like spider mites and scale insects, and take care of them before they become a problem.