November reminds us that winter is on its way with leaves on the trees falling rapidly and the increase of rain and wind. During November container plants and some ground plants will need protection from the frosts, wind and freezing rain. November is also the start of the Bare Root and Root Ball season so there's plenty to be on with this month. Check out our latest hints and tips put together by horticulturist John Richardson.
1) The earlier winter digging can be done, the better, as this allows rain, snow, and frost to break down the clods of soil which will make cultivations in the spring so much easier.
2)Collect and dispose of the fallen fruits from apple trees, many will be damaged and prone to spreading diseases such as brown rot.
3)Divide and replant rhizomatous Iris, and layer Carnations and Pinks. Peg them into moist soil after carefully cracking a small section of the stem. Ensure the treated area remains in moist soil.
4)Now is the best time to plant roses, buying plants that are field-grown (bare-root) is the most economic and will survive just as well as container-grown plants if kept moist when out of the ground. For long delays, heel in the roots of the plant in an area that is not waterlogged.
5)Replace those small patches of the lawn which have become damaged, with turf from a less obvious area. Do not perform this task when the soil is waterlogged or frozen.
6)Take the opportunity to cut back overgrown hedges, either mechanically on deciduous plants or with secateurs and a saw on large-leafed evergreens such as laurels and rhododendrons. Trim conifer hedges next spring.
7)Clean moss and lichens from footpaths and walls. There are several commercial brands of cleaner available, but bleach is equally good. A power washer will make light work of the job!
8)Before the month-end check apples and other stored fruits for signs of rotting and throw out damaged fruit for the birds.
9)Plant tulip bulbs after the middle of the month to prevent the spread of Tulip Fire disease.
10)Make sure you have checked the compost heap and the bonfire for hibernating animals before you light the bonfire on November 5th.!!
11)Collect seeds of any plants you may wish to reproduce for next year. Cover seed-heads with a paper bag and tap them to release seed over time. Do not save seed from plants described as being of F1 (hybrid) origin.
12)Cut back to ground level the canes of summer fruits such as Raspberries, Loganberries, Blackberries etc. as soon as fruiting is complete. Tie in the growth of this year’s new canes as these are your next year’s fruiting canes.
13)From the middle of the month begin successional sowing of spring cabbage for winter harvest, and lettuce is sown under glass for use during the winter.
14)Clean out bird boxes and sterilize them with boiling water.
15)Insulate with bubble-wrap polythene, the pots of plants which may not be entirely hardy, or the container is a traditional frost susceptible clay pot.
16)Don’t get carried away with autumn pruning! Plants such as Viburnum bodnantense, Lonicera fragrantissima, and the flowering cherry Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’, as these will carry sweetly scented pink flowers all the way through the winter.
17)Lift and store dahlias if not already completed.
Posted 2nd Nov 9:26am