Gardening Tips for October/November by David Greaves

During the Autumn months try to resist the temptation to spring clean - so as to give wild life some winter shelter. However do keep weeding and tidying your borders. Fallen leaves can be left to rot down, but remove any diseased material and burn the diseased matter to prevent pests if possible. 

Begin to dig compost into your soil with manure or organic matter to replace the goodness, it can be roughly scattered and left over the winter. 

Keep an eye on pots and check for wilting leaves during any dry spells. Trees need a circle of clear earth around them to encourage moisture to the roots. As for the grass, try to keep off it once it becomes sodden and keep mowing at least once a fortnight with the blades set on high for the final few cuts. October is also the last month for sowing grass seed and also the best time for laying turf. 

It’s now that you need to give the greenhouse a thorough clean out to prevent pests from hibernating, so wash the windows inside and out to encourage maximum light. Then for an effective fumigation, remove all of your plants, shut the doors and windows and light a sulphur candle in the middle of the floor. 

November is the time to begin to plant bare-rooted trees, shrubs, hedging and roses as well as fruit trees. Start planting any tulip bulbs as the cooler weather helps prevent fungal disease ‘tulip fire’. Pot up any amaryllis bulbs, water and keep in a warm place in preparation for Christmas flowering. Move tender plants into the greenhouse before the frost arrives. 

Lastly brighten up those borders with pansies, violas, primroses and cyclamen.