Hints & Tips
November is a time of year when activity in British gardens tends to slow down a little; the summer is past and with darker evenings, cooler temperatures and more instances of rain many people may feel there is less to do, but they would be mistaken.
This month is perhaps one of the last chances gardening enthusiasts have to prepare their outside spaces before the winter fully sets in and therefore gardens up and down the country should see a flurry of last minute activity.
Some of the tasks facing green-fingered Brits this month include ensuring border areas are tidied and soil is prepared for the coming spring – this means digging in compost and manure until the ground gets too hard to do so and cutting down herbaceous stems and clearing the fading remains of annuals.
Advice from the Royal Horticultural Society includes raising containers that are to be left outside over winter onto pot feet to avoid waterlogging, as well as clearing up fallen leaves from lawns, borders and pond areas.
Furthermore, gardeners should be looking to prune roses now to prevent winter wind-rock, as well as planting tulip bulbs in preparation for a spring display come the warmer weather next year.
Gardeners should also insulate outdoor containers from frost using bubblewrap or other insulating materials, while food should be put out regularly to encourage birds to make these outside areas a winter retreat, as many sources of sustenance for these animals will be more scarce over the colder months.
Furthermore, outdoor taps, water pipes and irrigation lines should be drained and lagged to prevent potential bursts should there be a sudden sharp frost. This is perhaps one of the most sensible steps for garden enthusiasts this year, as the Met Office has predicted winter 2013 could be one of the coldest on record.