November in the garden

The temperatures are starting to drop now after the warmest Halloween on record and we gardeners are starting our pre-winter clear up or we should be.
Autumn leaves can be left where they are not smothering plants, our friends the worms will pull them into the ground to complete the cycle.
Herbs coming from the Mediterranean like a dry winter if possible so fallen leaves around them should be cleared to encourage air movement. Make a separate pile for leaf mould, bag it up in bin liners punctured to allow the air in to aid rotting.
  If you grow lilies you should have planted the bulbs by now, add leaf mould to the compost and a cushion of sharp sand to help drainage and to keep away slugs.
Don’t forget your lawn as grass will continue to grow at temperatures above 5C but make sure the last cut of the year should be on the high side to enable the grass to take in the winter light. Check your pots that are outside and bring anything tender inside or under cover.
If you grow dahlias and leave them in the ground cut back the top growth after the first frost and mulch with compost or straw preferably both.
Wind-rock will loosen shrubs that are prone, so a prune to the likes of repeat-flowering roses and buddleia by a third will help and shorten all laterals to three or four buds.
Vegetable growers can now harvest Jerusalem artichokes, sprouts and brassicas, garlic should have been planted and you can plant out broad beans but be prepared to put cloches over plants should the weather turns nasty.
   Festive tulip bulb planting is best left to November to diminish the risk of tulip fire and if want a pot of paperwhite narcissus for your home plant now and you might time it right for Christmas.
If you want a fruit bush that will give you all year round interest then I would advise to you to grow blueberries, not only will you get fruit, the Autumn colour of the leaves has to be seen to be believed.
Remember to buy two blueberry bushes for pollination and they must be grown in ericaceous compost as they are acid loving plants.

Until next time Good Gardening


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Posted by
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Knowsley and Sefton
on May 11th, 2018

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