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