We’ve had unseasonably warm weather for October – and so far, there’s been no sign of the first frosts.
It means you’re probably still enjoying some of the summer colour in your garden. We still have our cosmos, a few remaining zinnias, black-eyed susan, begonias and a few others – as well as our geraniums, which are still looking fantastic, I must say. If, unlike mine, your dahlias weren’t entirely gobbled by slugs, they’re probably still putting on a good show, too.
Over the next few weeks we expect the weather to change – it’ll probably get wetter and colder. There’ll be lots more fallen leaves to sweep up! And you’ll be giving some thought to how to ‘over winter’ plants like dahlias.
Here’s a few of the gardening jobs you might want to do this November:
Plant tulip bulbs now
Whilst many of the spring bulbs, like daffodils, muscari and crocuses, can be planted from September onwards, tulips should not be planted until November. And whilst tulips can come back every year, you’ll generally always get the best from them in the first year, so it’s worth getting new bulbs if you want the display to be top quality next year. If, like me, you haven’t got around to planting your other bulbs yet, you can still do it now.
Introduce new roses into the garden
Buy them now as bare root plants. Plant them out and they’ll have time to settle themselves in before next summer. It’s a great value way to buy roses, too.
It’s not too late to plant edibles
You can still plant garlic, shallots and onions outdoors and get a head start on next year. It’s a good idea to protect them from really harsh frosts with a covering of fleece.
Feed the birds
You may have been doing this all year round, but if not, this is the time of year when birds need a little extra help. Make sure there’s a water source and leave out some food for them daily. Try leaving out high energy and high fat foods, such as peanuts, suet blocks, sunflower seeds or mealworms. The RSPB have some great tips on what to feed the birds in autumn and winter.
Go gently with the lawn…
…Especially if it becomes very wet. We will soon be getting to the point where the grass no longer needs cutting, but in the meantime, if you are going to brave one or two last cuts, keep the blades high on the mower so as not to scalp the grass, which is growing much more slowly now.
Don’t forget your indoor bulbs
If you’ve potted up some hyacinths, daffodills or amaryllis for Christmas, don’t forget to keep en eye on them. Make sure they don’t dry out or you won’t get your Christmas flowers!
Brush up those leaves
For some people who are lucky enough to have lots of trees in or around their garden, this can be a major job at this time of year! Remember, you can collect up fallen leaves, store them in bin bags and use them to make leafmould, which is really good for your beds. If you’re not sure how to do this, take a look at Monty Don’s guide to making leaf mould. But, if any of your roses had blackspot this year, you need to be careful to collect these leaves up separately and dispose of them, to guard against the same problem coming back next year.
Bring potted herbs indoors
If you have pots of chives or parsley in the garden, you can bring them in and put them on a windowsill so that you can continue to have them on hand in the kitchen over winter.
About the author:
My name is Gemma. I’m the editor of Newton-le-Willows News and a very keen but amateur gardener. I mainly enjoy growing flowers in my small garden in Lowton, but I do dabble with the occasional veggie too – all in containers. You can follow my garden on Instagram @gandtgarden.