Here in Manchester we had our first full-on ground frost a couple of mornings ago, followed by beautiful thawing autumn sunshine, so there’s still time to get outdoors and do some tasks your garden will thank you for later.
Why not take an energy bar and a hot flask outdoors with you and enjoy getting back to nature! Here are 10 things you can do in the garden this November:
Collect and Compost Fallen Leaves
There are lots of fallen leaves around, so now is the time to rake them up and its easy to compost them – simply put them in black bin liners (with a few holes punched in the sides) and when almost full, add a sprinkle of water and tie them up. Leave them alone in a shady place until next autumn and you’ll have a great leaf mulch to spread around your plants.
You can now start pruning deciduous trees, shrubs and hedges. (Although you can certainly trim evergreens to make them neat, its best to leave the pruning of them until spring.) A good pair of secateurs will cut through the woodiest of twigs and branches, so invest in a quality tool. Its also worth protecting yourself by wearing suitable gardening gloves and gear. There’s some great heavy duty clothing on theEngelbert Strausswebsite if you’re serious about gardening and want to get yourself a decent pair of outdoor trousers or dungarees with lots of useful pockets.
Plant Tulip Bulbs
This is the perfect time to plant tulip bulbs for a glorious springtime display. Plant them deep, pointy end up, and about 8cm apart. There are lots of different colours, so you may want to pick just a couple for a co-ordinated look – there are some ideas for planting tulips and information on the different varieties here on the Saga website.
Collect Holly Branches for Christmas Decor
Cut some holly stems with their fiery red berries to make your Xmas wreaths or garlands with. Stand them in a bucket of water out of the reach of the birds that will want to nibble them though, until ready for use!
Spruce Up Your Containers, Shed, Fences
Now is a good time to check your pots and containers over. You can give them a scrub or even paint some of them for a fresh look. Raise them onto bricks to prevent waterlogging and plant things like trailing ivy and heathers that should provide some colour and interest over the wintry months.
Paint fences and sheds with suitable garden paint or preserver on a nice, crisp dry day while you still have the chance, to protect the wood from the worst of the weather.
Care For Your Lawn
Give the grass a final mow, but don’t cut it as short as you would in the summer. Aerate the lawn by making holes all over with your garden fork. Keep the lawn clear of dead fallen leaves which if left will kill the grass underneath. Now is an ideal time to cut neat, sharp edges in your lawn.
Consider your garden friends
Clean out bird feeders and provide food and fresh water for our feathered friends, as the next few months will be challenging for them! You can read about caring for your garden creatures on the RSPB website here.