Last month gardening expert Adam Kirtland started with ‘Gosh, its October!!’ – and he’s got the very same feeling this month as we enter what is looking like a very brisk November
November in the gardening world is maybe one of those months where it seems like you can’t really get up to much, when in fact there is a lot to be getting in with! You might not be out there planting and filling the garden with colour but there are a few things to keep in mind for the month ahead that will keep you on your toes…
Alright, picture this: making leaf mould at home is like giving your garden a secret superpower. So, what’s leaf mould? It’s basically the magic stuff that happens when leaves fall and turn into a fantastic, natural fertiliser. Here’s the lowdown for all you gardening enthusiasts. In the autumn (and now), grab a mix of different leaves – no need for fancy equipment, just grab hold of as many as you can. Now, find a cozy spot in your garden, preferably shady and with a bit of air. This is where the leaf mould party is going happen.
Start layering those leaves in your chosen spot. Sprinkle a bit of water as you go – think of it as giving your leaves a little drink. Then, let time do its thing. Over a few months those leaves will transform into a dark, crumbly goodness that your plants will absolutely love. If you’d rather them not be on show, then you can pop them in a black plastic bag, poke a few holes in and leave them be.
Making your own leaf mould is like being a gardening wizard. It’s you and nature teaming up to create something awesome for your plants. Imagine your garden soaking up this homemade goodness, growing happy and healthy. That’s the magic of leaf mould, right in your back garden.
The bitter chill of winter
In the brisk embrace of November, gardeners must be vigilant against the impending threat of frost, marking the onset of winter’s chill. As we usher in the season’s first frosts, protecting your garden becomes paramount. Novice and seasoned gardeners alike should take proactive measures to shield their cherished plants from the frost’s potentially damaging touch.
Covering delicate plants with frost cloths or blankets the night before a predicted frost is a simple yet effective strategy. This protective layer acts as a cozy shield, preventing the icy fingers of frost from settling on vulnerable leaves and blooms. For potted plants, consider relocating them to more sheltered areas or grouping them together to harness collective warmth.
Mulching, particularly around the base of susceptible plants, proves instrumental in retaining soil warmth and shielding roots from the cold. Additionally, staying attuned to weather forecasts and watering the garden adequately in advance can mitigate the impact of frost, as moist soil tends to retain heat more effectively. Essentially, if it’s due to be very cold, protect your most vulnerable plants!
Tuppence a bag
Feeding birds in your garden during winter is a simple yet rewarding way to support local wildlife. As temperatures drop, birds find it challenging to locate natural food sources, making your assistance crucial. A bird feeder stocked with seeds, suet or nuts can make a significant difference.
Choose a variety of bird-friendly foods to attract different species. Sunflower seeds, peanuts, and fat balls are popular choices. Ensure the feeder is kept clean and dry to prevent the spread of disease. Place it in a visible spot, ideally near shelter like trees or bushes, so birds feel secure while dining.
Winter can be harsh, and providing fresh water is as important as food. Invest in a birdbath or simply place a shallow dish with water, making sure to break any ice that forms. This helps birds stay hydrated, especially when natural water sources freeze. Regularly check and refill the feeder to establish your garden as a reliable food stop.
Observing the flurry of feathered visitors in your garden not only adds a touch of nature to your winter days but also contributes to the well-being of your local bird population. It’s a small act that brings joy to both you and your feathered friends.