It seems one of the main jobs at the moment will be clearing fallen leaves from your garden and driveway. Each and every morning I wake up to my lawn deeper in leaves than it was the day before. This of course is one of the great signs that autumn is certainly upon us and that winter is just around the corner. Be sure not to let leaves lie for too long or they will damage your lawn.
A great advantage of falling leaves in autumn is that they can make great eco-friendly compost and if you decide to have a compost heap/bin, then it should now be well and truly filled with these fallen leaves. The leaves will decompose into rich compost quicker if they are shredded before being added and if they are turned over regularly (recommended weekly). There are many good guides available online or in your essential gardening books to help you along the way with which ingredients to use and the steps involved.
Prepare perennials for winter
November is an ideal time for the mulching of hardy perennial plants that may be affected by heavy frosts, for example Fuchsias and Agapanthus. A protective covering with organic material such as peat or straw will help prevent moisture loss and will stop the roots freezing. You may also want to move some tender plants into a cool sheltered location to prevent damage over the winter.
Due to the unusual mild autumn weather, it is only in the last week that growers have started to lift fruit stock from their fields. It is an ideal time for planting fruit along with other loose rooted plants. Larger fruit trees may need to be tied to a stake to prevent wind damage (always tie the tree to the stake low down so the tree can move in the wind but the roots will be stable).
This is also the ideal time to plant up those bare rooted roses and you will find a vast selection available online to choose from. We supply our Roses bare root at this time of the year which will allow them to establish themselves quickly once planted and create a beautiful display for next year. Be sure not to plant roses in areas they previously grew in as the new plants may suffer from rose sickness because of this.
Still time to plant up those bulbs
There is also still time to get your bulbs planted up for flowering next spring. Get those Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinth, Crocus, Alliums and many other spring flowering bulbs into the soil now with a little organic matter and sit back, relax and watch them appear next year
Winter is on its way and will be a hard time for wildlife, fill the bird feed and set out fresh water and you'll see plenty of visitors to your garden. As the frosty mornings start to set in, look out for spider's webs as they'll look particularly pretty glistening with frozen moisture.
You won't need to mow the lawn as often now, but you will find your lawn can still grow a little this month so light trimming may be required. When you're putting your mowers and trimmers away for the Winter season, ensure they are drained and cleaned first and there is no moisture which could lead to rusting. You'll be thankful as your machine will last longer and save you a small fortune in repairs and replacement! Be careful not to tread on your lawn when frost covered as this will damage the grass noticeably.
Wet autumn and cold winters can cause difficulties as paths and decking can freeze and create a slippery, dangerous surface. These circumstances can be tricky to solve, but you can reduce your risk with a little maintenance. Sweep paths firmly and regularly with a stiff brush and prune back ant branches which may be blocking sunshine and air circulation. You may also want to invest in temporary mats for surfaces and drainage for particularly bad surfaces.