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.

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