THE WEEK AHEAD
Jobs to do this week including ideas and projects for your garden
At this time of year I pat myself on the back for having planted box edges. This is when they give definition and greenery where there is little. A mulch around the base of the hedge shows off the plants to their best and keeps roots cosy and plants healthy.
Winter squash and pumpkins should be harvested now and will need to be stored in a frost-free place. In the warmth of a kitchen they may not last long, so keep them in a cool shed or porch and you will be eating them until spring.
Hedge your bets
A native hedge is not only brilliantly useful for wildlife, it is beautiful too. This is the time to plant a mix of hawthorn, blackthorn, field maple, elderberry, dog rose and more. The birds and the bees will thank you. From wigglywigglers.co.uk.
Pruning roses now helps them to weather winter. Roughly chop bush roses back by about a third and take out stems that cross the centre, plus anything dead or diseased and you cut down on their wind resistance and make them less likely to incur winter damage.
Make a separate bin for pine needles and conifer hedge trimmings. After two or three years they will break down to an acidic leaf mould perfect for use around ericaceous plants such as blueberries, azaleas and rhododendrons.
Dreaming of a white Christmas
If you’d like to be surrounded by scented, flowering daffodils at Christmas, now is the time to start planting. It is always a bit of a hit-and-miss operation, but you greatly increase your chances by buying lots of bulbs and planting a few of them each week for the next few weeks. Paperwhites should only take around six weeks from planting to flower. From bakker.com
It is time to stop feeding citrus plants and to move them indoors. Kumquats are the hardiest and will be happy at temperatures as low as 7C, but lemons generally need 10C. They will need a greenhouse or porch that has some heat over winter.
Pond pumps need to be removed from your pond, drained and stored for winter. If pond surfaces freeze over later in the year, fish may be deprived of oxygen so float a ball on the surface now, to keep the water moving.
Turn to ash
If you have a bonfire to get rid of all of your allotment prunings and debris, make use of the potash-rich ash. Ash that is pure wood (as opposed to coal) is useful on the plot. When it is cool scatter it around the roots of fruit trees.
Feed the birds
Buy birdfeeders and bird baths if you are not already fully equipped for your garden birds’ winter needs. It is also time to hang fat balls, as birds need more energy to get them through cold nights. All from rspb.org.uk