November Garden Maintenance Jobs
Good gardening days are rare this month which is all the more reason for taking full advantage of the few suitable days – there’s always something to see and do in the garden! Although flowers can be scarce, there are still berries, evergreen foliage and bark to add interest on even the dullest of days. You can warm yourself up by tidying the garden and preparing for the winter ahead. Good hygiene in the autumn garden can help prevent disease outbreak the following summer so burn diseased leaves this month. It’s also a good time to check your tools, catch up on greenhouse maintenance and begin planning your spring display.
Winter dig heavy soil. Many of us who garden in Oxfordshire have heavy clay soil to contend with. Make use of the winter frosts to help break it down. Providing the weather is mild and the ground isn’t too sticky, dig over the soil to get it ready for planting using a fork to turn it right over, burying any weeds in the process. Don’t bury deep rooted perennial weeds (like dandelions, for example); these should be removed and burnt.
Rake up fallen leaves and pile them up to make leaf mould. If leaves are left in a thick layer on the lawn they will kill off the grass and fallen leaves left lying around plants can encourage the gardener’s public enemy number one – slugs and snails. If you have a large garden with lots of leaves to deal with, make a simple container with four stakes and chicken wire around and stick it in a corner somewhere to contain the leaves and compost down. If you have limited space, rake the leaves into plastic bags (left over compost bags are ideal.) Punch holes in the bags and leave in an out of the way space to rot down. In eighteen months or so you will be rewarded with good, friable leaf mould, which makes excellent mulch – for free!