RHS 8 tips for November

RHS 8 tips for November

  1. Clear up leaves, especially from lawns, ponds and drains.
  2. Please make sure all containers kept clear of the ground.
  3. Plant tulip bulbs for a spring display.
  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 from frost. Bubble wrap is good.
  8. Stop winter moth damage to fruit trees, by using grease bands around trunks.

Top tips from the Wenvoe Environment team

  1. Keep an eye on those good gardening neighbours to see what they’re up to.
  2. Build an extension to house all the new recycling bags.

Do not feed plants at this time of year as most of the nutrients will end up in water courses. Apply an autumn mulch to the likes of agapanthus, kniphofia and phygelius. Remove stakes and other supports from late flowering herbaceous perennials as plants die down for the winter and store in a dry place for next year. Helebores rarely flower at Christmas despite the common name of Christmas rose. Remove diseased or damaged leaves and encourage earlier flowering by covering with a cloche. Garden centres often sell off perennials at this time of year. They will not be looking great but if you can see past the the drab looking specimens, you will have great plants next year.

Weeds are tough and will grow when most plants have given up so if you can get onto the soil keep up with the weeding, it will all help for next year’s spring rush. Digging over the earth at this time of year exposes soil born pests and larvae to the birds and frosts. Try not to leave the soil uncovered for too long or the risk of erosion and nutrient loss will occur. Cover with a mulch if possible. Clay soils can be more workable in the autumn as they are not as hard as rock or too soft. Mulching will help to improve the structure. This is especially prevalent if you live on the Grange, where most of the top soil was stripped off before building started.

When you next plant up some containers, add a little sand (along with the small stones you put in the bottom of the pots) to the compost. This will help drainage and give more room for the root system. Petroleum jelly smeared around the top of the container will discourage slugs. Both these tips are from radio 4 so they must work.

The author of this column will be giving (and probably receiving) advice on any subject at the Christmas Reindeer Cafe on Saturday 23rd November between 12noon and 4pm in the Church Hall so why not come along. Entry is free and all are welcome.

Take care and happy gardening