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NOVEMBER IN THE GARDEN - BY SARA CUSHING

Posted on 5th November, 2021

IN THE GARDEN - BY SARA CUSHING

 

We are well and truly into Autumn now! These dark mornings, the last end pickings of
the veg patch, the cutting down of all the summer perennials...


I must confess, I do love the calm of the Autumn months after the hectic pace of Summer
when the garden quietens down some, the weeds aren't constantly popping up and it gives
a bit of time to sort out the things that have been put aside, but as ever, there is still loads
to do!


If you haven't yet planted bulbs for Spring, this is our last chance. The Allium families of
garlics and onions should be planted this side of Christmas to ensure a crop for next
September. A good guide is to plant depth to three times the bulb size. Because squirrels
are a big issue, I have planted at least eight inches deep, so their little arms can't get that
far down. If these furry little sky rats are a problem in your garden, I've found old methods,
such as grating a soap bar over the surface are a really good, organic deterrent!
Bare roots such as hedging and roses are ideally planted before the soil gets too cold, and
the damp conditions give the roots a good start.


Mulching over the borderline hardy plants such as Agapanthus is essential. I use all the
fallen leaves I can find to put on the borders. They will break down over winter and
suppress annual weeds, as well as helping the clay soils we have here.
I still love the beautiful colours we are getting through from perennials such as
chrysanthemum at this time of year. Everything from deep, rich reds and oranges to vibrant
yellows, and these can be matched with low-lying Heuchera and hardy cyclamen to give
interest in the garden at this time of year.


                       


Chrysanthemum                             Cyclamen                             Heuchera


Do insulate the large exotics that you have outdoors! We are so lucky in our patch that we
can grow these beautiful palms, but varieties such as Phoenix canariensis, chamaerops and trachycarpus may need additional protection, such as fleece or actual plant hoods if we
get a really cold spell.


I particularly love at this stage of the season having the time to sort out everything. The
greenhouses to house the tubers over winter, cleaning pots ready for next Spring and
especially I love the cold mornings turning over the compost heaps. There's always a robin
close by waiting to pick over the grubs!


Happy Autumn gardening!

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