November Tips

Other jobs about the garden hedges need a good tidy up now, especially if they have been neglected over summer. Now is the time to prune your fruit trees to stimulate the formation of fruit buds and flowers. Check around the base of bonfires before you light them. Hedgehogs and other wildlife may be sheltering there. Wash, dry and store any used pots, seed trays and containers to remove overwintering pests and diseases that may infect your plants next year. Make sure gardening tools are cleaned of soil and debris. Once dry apply linseed oil to prevent rusting over the winter. Tidy up canes from around the garden. Make sure that you let them dry out before storing them away. This will help to extend their useful life. Clean out your seed stocks. Old parsnip seed are unlikely to germinate well the following year. Collect leaves up for making leaf mould as a soil conditioner. Oak, Alder and Hornbeam will rot down in a year but beech, sycamore, horse chestnut and sweet chestnut will take a couple of years to compost. Build a new compost heap. Cover compost heaps with an old piece of carpet to keep the warmth in and maintain favourable decomposition conditions. Move deciduous trees and shrubs while they are dormant. Keep on top of weeds while they are still in active growth. Dig over the soil on a dry day when the ground is not too wet. Incorporate plenty of organic matter such as composted bark or organic farm manure . Move container grown specimen plants to a sheltered spot in the garden to protect them from strong winds, heavy rain and frosts. Prune deciduous shrubs and trees. Raise potted plants off the ground to prevent them becoming waterlogged. Take hardwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs and trees and place them in a sheltered spot outdoors or in the coldframe to take root. Take root cuttings from fleshy rooted herbaceous perennials to increase your stock. Place them in the coldframe or in a cold greenhouse to root. Plant evergreen shrubs and conifers. If you haven't already aerated your lawn, there's still time to do it before winter sets in. Simply insert a garden fork at regular intervals and lean it back slightly to let air in. Continue to clear fallen leaves off the lawn to keep it healthy. Remember to set your lawn mower to a higher cut-height for winter.