Local community site for Broadstone, Dorset, since 1999

Gardening Tips for November

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lawn rake

rake up leaves

It may be November, but still plenty to do. One of the main jobs if there are trees about, is to keep the leaves raked up. If you have a pond it is worth covering it to prevent them landing in the water. If you have room keep a separate pile to compost leaves, if not store them in perforated black sacks, very slightly moist and they will rot down to make a good mulch or addition to the soil. Finish planting up containers with bedding and bulbs, and tulips can be planted now. Raise them on feet to stop them becoming waterlogged, but be careful they don’t blow over. (I have just lost 2 large terracotta pots because they had dried out and a gust of wind sent them flying). Insulate any precious pots from frost, wrap them in fleece or bubble wrap. If you have any tender plants, try to move them into a greenhouse or conservatory. If you can’t do this, move them under a wall and if very cold they could also be wrapped up. I put large succulents under a patio table last winter. It is often a combination of wet and cold which kills plants. When tidying the borders, leave penstemons, fuchsias and other tender plants until spring. However if you have had problems with Fuchsia gall mite, it may be worth pruning quite hard now. This minute bug attacks the foliage and it eventually dies off. When first seen the advice was to remove and burn the plants, but now the experts suggest trying to manage it. Spraying every few days when first spotted may help. It is already about in Broadstone so look out for it. A layer of mulch on tender plants will protect them from frost damage.

Bare root fruit trees and shrubs will be available (and cheaper than container grown) this month and should be planted as soon as purchased providing the ground isn’t too wet or frosty. They can also be moved if not too large. On the vegetable garden or allotment, dig over any empty space and add well rotted organic matter. Broad beans can be planted direct now if ground is well drained otherwise plant in cells in the greenhouse. Prune red and white currants and gooseberries now and also apple and pear trees. It is worth consulting a pruning manual as it is quite a complicated subject. One for an early Xmas present perhaps! Cover anything in the cabbage family with netting or the pigeons will eat the lot! If you have apples stored, check them regularly and discard any rotten ones (the blackbirds will love them). Lastly remember to feed the birds and fill the bird bath or defrost it!

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About Author

Denise, from the Broadstone Horticultural Society, writes a regular column on gardening tips throughout the year. She works regularly with a small group of volunteers maintaining the flower beds on the Broadway and planting seasonal flowers and plants.

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