Get everything ready for winter
November’s a great month for planting trees
November is all about compost and getting everything ready for winter. Clearing leaves and cutting back dead growth is top of the agenda – which is great news because leaves and garden debris are perfect ingredients for homemade compost.
It’s also a great month for planting trees and shrubs and good planting needs good mulch.
With more autumn leaves around than a standard compost bin can deal with you have the perfect material to hand.
Leaves don’t need the heat of a compost to rot down; you can compost them by filling up bags with leaves to make really good garden mulch.
The best way is to fill biodegradable sacks, then place them somewhere in the garden where they will be rained on… and wait. Come spring next year you will have a bag full of nutritious leaf mould compost.
If you’re planning to plant trees in the garden then do it now before the ground gets too hard or frozen whilst you can still position them in wet and dry land.
They can tolerate acidic, chalky, sandy and clay soils and come in all shapes and sizes. From flowering cherries and crab apples to evergreen yews and weeping willows, trees offer different leaf size, shape and colour.
Many have attractive flowers, fruits and seeds and there are those that flower magnificently in spring and those whose leaves offer brilliant autumn colour just before leaf fall.
Trees can add structure to the landscape and garden and some make excellent hedges and screens whilst others are ideal as statement specimens.
By planting trees you can reduce or improve your carbon footprint and generally enhance the environment.
Trees act as nesting sites, song perches and display sites for birds and numerous species of insects are totally dependent on trees.
They also provide areas of shelter and shade that mean you can plant native wildflowers that would typically be found in woodlands.
As the first winter frosts arrive, there are still a few jobs to be done before bedding the garden down for winter
• Clear up fallen leaves - especially from lawns, ponds and beds
• Raise containers onto pot feet to prevent waterlogging
• Plant tulip bulbs for a spring display next year • Prune roses to prevent wind-rock • Plant out winter bedding • Insulate outdoor containers and delicate plants from frost - bubblewrap works well of use horticultural fleece available from most garden centres
• Put out bird food to encourage winter birds into the garden.