November 2018 Newsletter
Frosty mornings are making an early appearance this year it seems; so time to get your horticultural fleece out from the shed after the hot summer. If you’re like me you’ll want to use last year’s fleece only to find it’s full of tears and holes. Time to re-stock - we could be in for a cold winter.
While the evenings are cold though, the days are warm enough to enjoy the garden. I like to tidy up the beds, change my container displays and start feeding the birds as the night temperatures fall.
Head of Horticulture
Our top 6 jobs for the month
November is the ideal time to plant tulip bulbs and alliums which flower in late spring and early summer. Choose tulips to suit your colour preferences and combine them with formal, evergreen and architectural plants like bays trees, or Mahonia Soft Caress.
Add compost perfect for growing bulbs into your pots or incorporated with existing soil in your beds.
November is great to take stock of your garden boundaries and consider whether they need reinforcing. Hedges make great boundaries as the plants knit together quickly, buffer noise-pollution, filter wind blasts and provide homes for the birds and animals that keep insect pest numbers down.
Position bare-rooted hedge plants around 30cm (12in) apart at planting time and water well.
Create your own perfect soil conditioner simply with leaf-fall. All the leaves that fall into the garden can be collected up with a rake and then left for a season to break down and turn into nutrient-rich compost. The Snow Blad Multi Shifter collects up leaves and shifts snow in cold winters.
This compost attracts worms which further cultivate the soil and improve the soil structure so the roots have a good supply of water, oxygen and minerals needed for healthy growth.
In November get a good pair of sharp secateurs in your hands and train your rose plants to give you as many blooms as possible next year. Try to tie down stems to horizontal wires and snip side shoots to around 10cm (4in) to encourage the shoots to form flower buds for next year’s blooms.
If your rose plants are starting to tire, replace them with new, young plants that will quickly develop. Before planting dig plenty of Farmyard Manure into the soil to up those nutrients the roses need for their fabulous, scented flowers. Choose rose Polar Star and rose Royal William.
Evening frosts have already made an appearance so cold nights are already a threat to your garden and the plants growing in it. At Unwins we have covers, fleeces, bell jars and jackets that all come together to address the needs of the full range of plants that come in all shapes and sizes.
Use jackets to cover small and container trees, double-layer fleece for shrubs and bell jars for individual flowers and crops.
Birds keep the numbers of garden pests like greenflies and snails at a low in the spring and summer by feeding on them for their families. This is great news for the gardener and the birds.
Cement the mutually beneficial bond between the gardener and birdlife by feeding them throughout the colder months with energy-rich food like energy balls and protein-rich seed mixes. While insect levels are low in winter birds need a supplementary source of food to survive.
Get bright and flamboyant bulbs for your windowsill and table displays. Simply plant them in shallow bowls of compost or hour-glass shaped bulb vase. Just fill with water and pop the bulb on top.
Keep an eye out for pests
Pansy leaf spot
Avoid disappointment this autumn and winter by steeling your viola and pansy plants from pansy leaf spots, black specks formed by fungi and appear on the leaves. They ruin the look of your viola plants even before they come into flower.
Keep your plants well-ventilated by removing dead flowers and yellowing leaves on a daily basis. This also improves the look of your display for greater garden impact.
Kent & Stowe Dig for Victory
Unwins has introduced a new collection into its range, the unique Dig for Victory collection from Kent & Stowe. This collection has been inspired by the British civilians who were called upon to become self-sufficient and ‘Dig for Victory’ in the Second World War. Uniquely- packaged gardening gifts using newly digitalised images from Imperial War Museums’ (IWM) vast collections.
Every gift includes FREE authentic tips and recipes and is perfect for anyone with a love of gardening or history.