Because the weather has been very mild until recently, the winter tidy up has really only started in earnest these last couple of weeks. Now the leaves swirl around us in a veritable maelstrom of autumn colours. Here's Ellie's November to do list.
- Leaves, leaves, leaves! It feels like all one does in November is clear up leaves. Why bother? Well, unless you want dead grass, slugs, snails and a variety of fungal diseases running riot next year, you just have to get on with it.
- A great idea is to bag up some of the leaves (remembering to put air holes in the bags), and hide them somewhere out of sight to rot for a year, its a quick and easy way to get some very good compost to mulch your beds with for free!
- We've been cutting down perennials at last and dividing up some of the larger clumps of the really hardy ones. Always leave a few inches showing above ground to remind yourself next year that something was there! Half-hardy plants are best left until the spring.
- The beds need old debris tidied now and a gentle fork over...not too deep.
- With the beds tidy, why not put a few bags of new tulips in for the spring? Plant them in groups (say 10 bulbs or more) of one colour to create a vivid splash of colour. If there is more than one bed visible, repeat the colour in smaller or larger groups around the garden.
- Its not too late to pop in bulbs until the end of November; after that the soil gets a little cold for them to start putting their roots down.
- Roses are ready to be given a prune now, although we suggest you don't prune hard until the spring.
- If you are going to buy new hedging plants or trees, now is the time to start sourcing bare-rooted or root-balled ones. Find them from November to February - they're a much cheaper option than container-grown plants. (Remember to put a plan in place to water them in the spring and for at least the first summer).
Enjoy the garden!