David Hurrion’s November Tips

David Hurrion’s November Tips

Award winning Garden writer David Hurrion’s top tips for November.

  • Cut back stems of dahlias once they have been blackened by the frost and cover the soil over the tubers with a thick layer of well-rotted garden compost to insulate them from extremes of cold and for earthworms to mix into the ground ready for next season. Alternatively, in very cold areas, lift the tubers carefully with a border fork, crumbling off the soil and boxing up to store in a frost-free place over the winter.
  • Lightly fork through the surface of the soil in flower beds to relieve compaction and to allow rainwater to soak in over the coming months. This will also expose the eggs of weevils, beetles, slugs and snails to the eagle eyes of hungry garden birds.
  • Ventilate the greenhouse on warm sunny days to allow air to circulate and reduce the level of mould-promoting humidity. Close vents an hour before sunset to prevent temperatures dipping too far overnight.
  • Cover a few branches on fruiting holly bushes with netting to protect them from being eaten by birds. This will ensure you have some jewel-like berries to decorate your home over the festive season. Check nets regularly for trapped birds and release them.
  • Dig out fully rotted compost from heaps and bins this month. Pass it through a coarse sieve to remove large lumps and mix these in with your new compost ingredients. Bag up the sieved material for use in potting mixtures.
  • Plant garlic cloves and onions sets in small pots of multi-purpose compost to start into growth in a cold greenhouse or porch. These will fill their pots with a strong root system ready to plant in the ground outdoors during early spring, for an early crop in summer.
  • Collect any remaining fallen leaves from paths and lawns, and scoop them from ponds. Either use the leaves as a mulch at the back of borders and the base of hedges or fill black bin bags, pierced with the tines of a border fork to make air holes and placed in an out-of-the-way place to turn into soil-improving leaf mould by this time next year.
  • Feed birds with a mixture of high energy fat and seed mixtures. This will help to keep them warm and active during cold weather. They will repay you by continuing to visit the garden in spring and summer to pick insect pests and grubs from your plants.
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See the November issue of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine filled with inspiring ideas for your garden as well as reminders of other jobs to do this month