Monthly Gardening Tips - November 2022

Did you take advantage of the fine dry weather last month, to get on top of outstanding jobs in the garden (and allotment?) Cut down herbaceous subjects- if you chop many of them up you can put them into the new compost heap and they will rot down within a year. Dig out your old compost and topdress between plants, not on top of them. This smothers recently germinated annual weeds, protects roots, and adds humus to the soil. By the spring most will have been broken down into the soil by worms and weather. Broadcast bonemeal over borders around but not on shrubs in Autumn to assist in root development, flower and fruit bud formation and wood ripening - donít overdo it as foxes often dig in it thinking there are bones buried! Read the instructions.

Seasonal bedding should have been planted by now - window boxes, pots, baskets and borders. Occasionally tickle over the soil surface to avoid compaction, and check throughout the winter whether water is needed. In really cold frosty weather many plants in containers die of drought as the roots are frozen and canít take water up! Leafy compost on the surface and closer planting can help reduce soil freezing.

Squirrels notoriously dig up dormant bulbs, especially crocus, hyacinths and tulips, so make sure you plant at least 10cms. deep, or more, and water them in. Below is my extravagant bowl of 50 Hyacinths, showing squirrel protection and, hopefully, what they will look like in February. Another idea is to plant several layers of bulbs, with soil between them, in deep pots or containers, for a mass of flowers next year. Wear gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs as they can cause rashes.

hyacinth bulbs
squrrel protection
Morning Glory. Seeds will ripen by early Decembermorning glory

Here are a few autumn beauties growing in Kew:

Cape Leadwort - Plumbago capensis. Needs shelter.plumbago capensis
Ice plant - Hylotelephium (previously Sedum) spectabile.hylotelephium spectabile
Stagshorn Sumach - Rhus typhina. Beware suckers!rhus typhina
Ladyís Mantle - Alchemilla mollis.alchemilla mollis
Virginia Creeper - Parthenocissus quinquefolia.virginia creeper
And moss on stone. Enjoy!moss on stone

Richard Ward