November is already here, so what can we expect from the weather this month! Unsurprisingly there is always a chance of frost now which could very well bring an end to your summer displays. But even at this time of year there is plenty to do in the garden, whether it’s pruning, tidying or sowing, so we’ve put together a few tips to get you started.
* Rule 1! Keep off the lawn when it is sodden or frozen, a startling degree of damage is remarkably easy to inflict.
* Continue to clear fallen leaves off the lawn – left in place they will encourage fungal disease and bare patches.
* Make your final cut when the grass is reasonably dry with the lawn mower set to a higher cut-height.
* Book your mower in for a service – putting it off until spring just places your machine firmly at the end of a very long queue.
Bedding & Bulbs
* There is still time to plant Daffodil bulbs and other spring flowering bulbs to give you that ‘wow factor’ for the start of next year’s display.
* Plant Tulip bulbs now, the cooler soil helps avoid the fungal disease Tulip Fire.
* Brighten your borders, hanging baskets and containers with winter bedding such as Pansies, Violas, Primroses and Cyclamen.
* Start to plant bare-root Roses – they can be planted anytime between now and March.
* Lift parsnips after the first frosts when their flavor will have sweetened.
* Why not invest in some mushrooms kits? It’s surprisingly easy to grow your own mushrooms.
* Now is the ideal time to plant currant bushes and raspberry canes for a delicious home grown crop.
* Remove the top netting from fruit cages as heavy snow in the winter can make it sag.
Winter is tough for birds – as temperatures fall, regular supplies of food and fresh water become ever more important to help them survive the cold months and emerge in good condition for the breeding season next year.
To help them along why not put out a feeding station, with a supply of good quality bird food and fat or suet balls – but make sure these are out of the way of cats, then you can enjoy the company of our feathered friends during the winter.
Jason Harker is a professional gardener and landscaper. He is owner of JHPS-Gardens Ltd, covering North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. Contact Jason on 01782 396168 or online at www.jhps-gardens.co.uk