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Welcome to November!

The clocks have gone back, it’s dark in the evenings, it’s cold and it’s wet. Welcome to November! Now let’s look at some positives, November brings frosty mornings with clear blue-sky days, colourful scarves, open fires, attractive seed heads and grasses.

My recommended tasks this month include:

November is the best time to be planting tulips. This later planting helps prevent a disease called Tulip Fire. I plant mine in swathes of colour, quite closely packed but not touching for major colour impact

Dahlias can be lifted and stored, dry in the garage or potting shed, I use cardboard boxes with clean dry compost in them, I label them carefully so I know what I am planting next year, seal the box until you are ready to plant in the spring, potting them first to give them a head start before planting out when the chance of frost has gone.

Overwintering Canna Lillies, I am keeping an eye on mine and they will soon be cut completely back to around 15 cms high then the pots will go to somewhere dry and dark ready for next summer, mine stay in pots to make this task easy to complete.

Rake leaves from the lawn and put them somewhere to rot down over winter. The result will be valuable leaf mould, a great soil improver and superb potting compost. I gather mine in the garden with a garden vac that chops the leaves ( makes the composting process quicker ) put in black bags, pierce the bags and leave them somewhere outdoors to make the perfect spring mulch

Cut peonies down to ground level, compost the stems and place a marker so that you don’t forget they are there and dig them up!

Bonfire season starts now but please always remember to do a hedgehog check before lighting!!

Planting Beech

Seems to be the latest craze for hedging and oh boy what a joy, limey green leaves in the summer, wintering into reds & coppers in the winter, semi deciduous and loves a crop in September to get it in shape for over the winter season,

I have a trench prepared to take 48 of these beauties for a client wanting a more “instant hedge” so will be planting 200cm high plants later this month, watch this space for the update.

Bare root planting

Now is the time for bareroot planting, it will give the roots time to establish over winter, rehydrate the bare roots in water for 2 hours, dig a hole deep enough to take the roots and to give them a good start a layer of well rotted manure. For roses I always add Mycorrhizal Fungi sprinkled over the roots before planting to get them off to a great start, nothing beats saving some money on bareroots compared to the potted rose, my top tip if you are planning a mass of rose planting.

Rose Pruning

Its time to take the roses back on their first prune, not overly hard but get them back in shape roughly a 1/3 for now, the next full prune is January / February, it might seem hard but they will pay dividends by getting this task in place to imagine next years lovely crop of roses

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