Must Do List for November

Betty James “must do” list for November

  1. Wash flower pots before storing them.
  2. Put fleece on everything that needs covering.
  3. Raise all containers and pots to avoid water logging.
  4. Dry begonia corms thoroughly before storing.
  5. Any weeding done now will cut down on established weeds in Spring.

Wenvoe over 90s ramblers club tips

  1. Put plants nearer the house so you can actually see them.
  2. Your relatives only take you out to garden centres, so learn to enjoy gardening.
  3. No water features as we only end up in them.
  4. Keep everything as flat as possible in the garden, we can’t afford a fall.
  5. Tell people what you want for Christmas, otherwise it’s socks and tea towels.

Leaf mould is one of gardening’s great composts, it’s so easy to make and improves soil structure. You can also use it for bringing on seedlings. The best use as far as I know is for growing bulbs. It doesn’t necessarily need a compost bin, just fill bin bags with leaves then damp down. put a few holes in the bags and place out of the way. A good way of looking after bare patches in the borders or allotments is to plant what’s known as green manure. This not only protects soil from erosion, it inhibits weed growth and can then be dug in come spring to add nutrients to the soil.

Even with shorter days and inclement weather there are still plenty of jobs to be done. On the rare dry days a bit of weeding is always needed. Bare root shrubs and trees are available to order. They are cheaper bought this way and have a very high success rate. Planted now, they will establish a good root system over the winter. Keep raking up the leaves, especially those on grass, otherwise the grass will take ages to recover. There is still time to plant some garlic cloves; they need a cold spell to form clusters.

Ash dieback is taking hold in the village with a number of trees already taken out. If any of your trees have lost their leaves prematurely then get them checked out. At present there is no way back for infected trees with this disease. The latest survey suggests that only 5% of ash trees have a resistance.

New rules on leaving the EU mean that imported plants from Europe will have stringent tests to deal with pests and disease. I would have thought that should have been in place already. The upshot of this is that garden centres say it will mean an increase at the checkout on already highly priced plants. As a country we have allowed some diseases to take a stronghold around the south of the country. It beggars belief that we cannot grow enough plants in this country. Surely, for the prices garden centres charge, we ought to be able to compete and most of all be safer from pest and disease. While we were in lockdown during the early spring, people found old packets of seed and, looking around our area, gardens flourished. Irene and Dave in Vennwood really showed what you can do with a packet of seeds.

Take care and happy gardening