Horticultural Society

Lesley Buckley
With leaves falling rapidly, and wind and rain on the increase listed below are some suggestions for the approaching winter months in your garden.   
10 top tips

- Gather up fallen leaves - especially from lawns, ponds and beds; particularly around any rose bushes which suffered from blackspot or rust this year: this will help prevent re-infection.
- Raise containers off the ground on pot feet bricks or broken roof tiles to prevent waterlogging and freezing which cause pots to crack.
- Plant tulip bulbs for a spring display next year: some bulbs reappear year on year but others do not; plant new bulbs if necessary.
- Prune roses to prevent wind-rock particularly in exposed places, prune off 1/3rd plant after the blooms have faded.
-  Plant winter bedding plants in beds, borders, containers, window boxes or hanging baskets for a welcome splash of colour: eg Pansies, violas, primroses polyanthus, wallflower, sweet William, stock, forget-me-nots,  cyclamen.
- Cover cabbages, brocolli, sprouts, kale, spinach with netting to protect them from pigeons.
- Insulate outdoor plants and containers from frost if they have to stay outside over winter - tightly wrap pots in bubblewrap or hessian: group pots tightly together so they insulate each other.
- Winter moth caterpillars eat holes in leaves, blossom and developing fruitlets of many fruit trees eg apple, pear, plums, cherry: egglaying by the wingless females can be reduced by placing a grease band round the trunk and tree stake: this intercepts their climb from the ground and prevents them from laying their eggs on the branches.
- Put out bird food to encourage winter birds into the garden:
your local and visiting birds will appreciate any food you can offer but, as with all wildlife, it's important to know the right things to provide: wild bird seed mix, peanuts, cooked rice, cereals, perhaps a fat ball?
- In the greenhouse: wash the glass, floor and staging with ‘horticultural’ disinfectant to kill off overwintering pests and diseases: replace any damaged panes of glass: insulate with sheets of bubblewrap attached to the inside to reduce heat loss.
Gardening Notes for