THE WEEK AHEAD

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Notebook - Lia Leen­dertz

Jobs to do this week in­clud­ing ideas and projects for your gar­den

Boxing clever

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.

Store squash

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.

Rosy days

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.

Acid test

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

Move in­doors

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 life

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

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