We haven’t had the cold snap yet, and frost still feels quite a way away. Which is nice, right?
But the likelihood is that you’re not going to find the time or motive to get out into the garden during December, so that means we have some November chores to tackle. With Christmas inching closer and party season around the corner, you’re likely going to be entertaining guests so even if they stay indoors; you still want a nice garden to be viewed from the other side of the French doors don’t you? So let’s get started…
Give that rake its twice-a-year exercise plan and get those autumnal leaves off the ground. You can start making leaf mold or compost (remember to cover once you’re done) for these, but at the very least clear them from the lawn. Either with your own compost or not, add something organic to your beds to give them a nutrient injection and a blanket for the incoming cold weather. Now that many of your plants have receded, you’ll probably notice that it’s much easier to spot the weeds. Take your chance now, but take no prisoners……….
Don’t forget to water. If it’s not freezing yet, you should still be wondering. And once you’re done; clean, sharpen and oil your garden tools before storing them somewhere sheltered.
We generally keep windows closed and central heating on from this point, which is kind of the worst possible conditions for indoor plants. So make sure that they’ve got enough water, humidity and air circulation to make it through the winter. Pests shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but spider mites and scale can take their opportunities around this time of year. (Take no prisoners.)
Don’t mistake dormancy for pending death. Dormant plants shouldn’t look like dead plants, so if you see them struggling to hold their structure and weight, or spot any yellowing leaves; they probably need your help. Light and water will do the trick.
Preparing For Frost
Trees and shrubs need the attention of your watering can, until the last possible moment. Once the ground freezes then they’re on their own, but until then help them drink deeply. Your more delicate species, roses for example, can be protecting by adding more organic matter around the base and tying climbing stems to canes or trellises. Cover your vegetable patches, or wherever there are spring-flowering bulbs, to keep the soil from freezing.
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