November Gardener's Diary
Mid to late autumn, can be an unpredictable time of the year - the first of the real night frosts will usually have already occurred, signalling the end of any remaining tender annual plants and making most gardeners consider the onset of winter. There is still time however, when weather permits, to finish any delayed planting of Spring flowering bulbs and Autumn/ Winter bedding. Pansies and violas are still looking good and available at Farnborough Garden Centre.
Autumn leaves are still looking colourful but will soon be falling. Once leaf-fall starts in earnest, those gardeners with trees around them will need to put in some hard work in clearing up. Don’t be tempted to let leaves stay too long on beds, borders or lawns, where they can cause damage and harbour pests and diseases. This is particularly important with alpines and rockery plants.
Fruit & Vegetables – prune gooseberries, raspberries and blackcurrants now and where required plant new bushes and canes. Start planting new apples, pears and plums etc. this month to enable them to establish themselves over winter. Try potting herbs to place in the greenhouse, conservatory or even on a windowsill for use over winter. Winter digging should already have been started and is best completed as soon as practicable.
Pots & Containers – clear the last of any summer bedding and bring tender fuchsias and geraniums into a frost-free, well-lit area for winter. Keep these plants moist but be sure you don’t overwater. So give some thought to protecting any vulnerable or tender plants that must remain outdoors and remember to protect the pot as well as the plant. Some of the biggest problems with pots out of doors is waterlogging so make sure all pots are on blocks or pot feet.
Garden Birds – winter feeding should have already started by now and here at Farnborough Garden Centre we have a vast range of feeders, roosting boxes (for winter protection), support poles and brackets. We also have a wide selection of food, covering a variety of different bird species. As well as feeding don’t forget to provide water for birds and top it up regularly or replace frozen water during long frosty periods.
Plants Looking Good Now:
Ornamental reeds, grasses, pyracantha, liquidamber, cotoneaster, conifers, pansies, violas, heathers, photinias, eleagnus.
Christmas is fast approaching and here at Farnborough Garden Centre we have been busy setting out our range of Christmas trees, Holly and Fir wreaths, door swags and planted table decorations. Whilst we don’t stock a huge range of decorations, we do keep some more unusual styles made from natural materials and including some illuminated items. We are always sure to carry a constantly changing range of gifts and homeware, perfect for those special seasonal gifts.
For something really different visit our ‘Treasured Teddies’ shop where you can see a wide selection of Teddy Bears in many shapes and sizes. The range includes some very special collectable Bears as well as many loveable “cuddly” companions. The ideal gifts for grownups or children. We hope the weather stays kind and you have time to visit us this month.
Preparing your Garden
1- Leaf clearance – fallen leaves will need to be cleared regularly as if left they can damage the plants beneath them. This is particularly relevant to lawns, alpines and rockeries. If you have the space, leaves can be composted into leaf mould.
2- Pruning and training – begin winter pruning this month. Start with deciduous plants but don’t prune unnecessarily as over pruning can weaken growth. Remember when pruning fruit trees that plums and cherries should NOT be pruned now but left until summer as this will deter silver leaf disease.
3- Plant protection – take steps now to protect those tender plants from the winter cold. Use fleece hessian or where appropriate bubble wrap. You may also need to protect your plants form rabbits or deer using netting wire or tree guards.
4- Outdoor Pots and Containers - lift all pots and containers on to pot feet or blocks to prevent waterlogging. This applies to pots on hard surfaces, gravel or soil.
5- Ponds – submersible pumps should be removed from ponds now and stored through winter together with any lights etc. Check all power cables for wear and damage. Clear plants from around the pond edges and remove fallen leaves and debris and from the water regularly as this can make the water toxic to fish and wildlife.
2018, Your Letterbox