The November garden

The silk tassel bush (Garrya elliptica) looks attractive in November

The silk tassel bush (Garrya elliptica) looks attractive in November

Make the most of any good weather to prepare your garden for next year. Here are some ideas of key tasks you can do now.

November is the best time to plant tulip bulbs. This is later than most bulbs but this helps to prevent tulip fire disease. Tulips prefer well-drained fertile soil in full sun. If you have clay soil, set on a layer of grit and treat as annuals as they are susceptible to rot and unlikely to survive a second year. Alternatively, grow tulips in containers, where you can give them the good drainage and fertile compost they need.

  • November to March is the time to plant bare-root deciduous trees, shrubs and roses. They are cheaper than pot-grown plants and suppliers can be found on the internet or via mail-order.

  • Insulate vulnerable plants in containers from frost by wrapping in fleece or bubble wrap. Move containers to a sheltered position, if possible. Stand pots on pot feet to prevent water-logging.

  • If you have any trees staked, check that they are firm enough to withstand winter wind. Check that the ties are secure and aren’t cutting into the bark.

  • Now is a good time to prune many deciduous trees and shrubs, such as acers, if necessary. Established apple and pear trees can also be pruned now. Remove dead, diseased or crossing stems. Do check the requirements of your own trees before you start, as any pruning needed depends on the age and type of tree.

  • Keep off your lawn during wet or frosty weather. This is also a good time to get your lawn mower serviced.

  • Continue to rake up fallen leaves from lawns and clear leaves collecting on top of perennials. Add leaves to your compost heap or store separately to make leafmould.

  • Clean out old nests from bird boxes and if you have bird feeders and baths, keep them clean and top up regularly.

Disclaimer: The information given in this blog is very general and results can be affected by many kinds of local conditions, such as weather, soil, aspect, etc. The author therefore does not accept responsibility for any loss or failure as a result of following any suggestions given.

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