November on the Homestead

20161117_092851November is in full swing and the weather is trying to make up its mind and that means there is a lot to do this month. Be aware that November 15 the average first frost date, so despite all the warm weather things can still change quickly.

On the Lawn
• Clear up fallen leaves regularly to allow light to the grass.
• A last mowing can be made this month before leaving your lawn for the winter.

In the Flowerbeds

  •  There’s still time to plant spring flowering bulbs for a magnificent start to next years display.
  •  Plant out spring bedding displays of pansies, violas and primulas.
  •  Now is the ideal time to plant a magnolia tree for a beautiful spring display.
  •  Gather up fallen leaves from around the base of rose bushes which suffered from black spot or rust this summer, to reduce the chance of infection next year.
  •  Cut back the yellowing foliage of herbaceous perennials, and lift and divide overcrowded clumps to maintain their vigor.

In the Vegetable Garden

  • Now is a great time to prepare a perennial vegetable bed which can be planted up with asparagus crowns.
  • Still time to sneak in some late garlic
  • Now is an ideal time to invest in mushroom kits It’s surprisingly easy to grow your own mushrooms.
  •  Now is a good time to top dress empty beds with Mushroom or Poultry compost so that it can sit and soak into your beds over the winter months
  •  Build a raised bed to take the bending out of vegetable growing.
  •  Stake top-heavy brassicas and draw up some soil around the base of the stem to prevent wind rocking the plant and causing damage to the roots.

Other Assorted Chores:

  •  Wash, dry and store any used pots, seed trays and containers to remove overwintering pests and diseases that may infect your plants next year.
  •  Make sure gardening tools are cleaned of soil and debris.
  •  Clean out your seed stocks.
  •  Insulate taps and pipework with foam lagging to prevent damage caused by freezing weather conditions.
  •  Move container grown specimen plants to a sheltered spot in the garden to protect them from strong winds, heavy rain and frosts.
  • Raise potted plants off the ground to prevent them becoming waterlogged.
  • Build a new compost heap. Cover compost heaps with an old piece of carpet to keep the warmth in and maintain favorable decomposition conditions.
  • Keep on top of weeds while they are still in active growth. Dig over the soil on a dry day when the ground is not too wet. Incorporate plenty of organic matter such as spent compost, manure or mushroom compost.
  •  Move deciduous trees and shrubs while they are dormant.
  •  Prune deciduous shrubs and trees.
  • Plant evergreen shrubs and conifers.
  •  Take hardwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs and trees and place them in a sheltered spot outdoors or in the cold frame to take root.
  • Take root cuttings from fleshy rooted herbaceous perennial plants to increase your stock. Place them in a cold frame or in a cold greenhouse to root.
  •  As the weather grows colder make sure bird feeders and bird tables are topped up with food.