November tips from the RHS

November tips from the RHS

1. Clear up fallen leaves, especially from the lawn and pond.

2. Raise containers off the floor to prevent water-logging.

3. Plant up Tulip bulbs for Spring displays.

4. Prune Roses to prevent wind rock.

5. Plant out Winter bedding.

6. Cover Brassicas with netting, if pigeons are a problem.

7. Insulate outdoor containers to protect from frost.

8. Stop winter moth damage on fruit trees with grease bands.

9. Most people like a bonfire, so gather up any debris that can't be composted, especially anything that's diseased and burn it – if allowed.

10. Make sure the mower is cleaned before putting away.

People who know my wife will know of her love of all things Christmas. So this time of year garden centres are some of her favourite haunts. The earliest Christmas shop to open, which we visited this year was The Old Railway Line, Brecon which opened at the end of September. At the time of writing the one with the best choice is Caerphilly Garden centre, according to Mrs Christmas. Wenvoe's local Garden Centre Christmas shop has yet to open. I'm sure that some centres would not survive without the footfall that these displays bring.

Everyone loves to see birds in the garden and we tend to put extra out as the weather gets colder. It can be a double edged sword as more food usually means more waste, which attracts vermin. Probably the best way to avoid rats and mice, other than not feeding the birds, is to have the feeders hanging over a hard surface which can be cleared easily and often. The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) have some good tips on ways to feed and look after our wild birds.

After the first frosts cut all the growth off Dahlias, dig up and store in a cool dry place untill the spring. In some parts of the country they will survive in the ground where the soil is sandy and has good drainage but not in Wenvoe, which has clay in most places.

There is still time to take root cuttings of Perennial Poppies and Phlox. Start by digging up the plant and cut some roots off near to base of the plant. Do not take more than half of the root system, then replace the plant back into the ground as soon as possible with the roots cut into 3'' lengths and plant the right way up in compost and cover with grit. Put in a cold frame, then be patient .

Weeds do not follow the seasons and seem to grow at all times of the year so if you can get into the garden to keep the borders and veg patches clear it will save a lot of time in the spring. If bind weed is still growing, now would be a good time to spray


November 18th will see the return of a certain Mr Gwyndaf Breese to the marquee at the Wenvoe Christmas Craft fair, along with myself. After you have met this man your life will be far richer for it. If you time it right, and Mr Noel Williams is with him, then believe me we will all learn something.


Happy gardening.