November & December in the Garden

by Jane & Wilson Grahame

  • Get the leaves off the lawn and into the compost. Your slug population and disease will be less next spring.
  • There is still time to plant bulbs. This is an excellent time to plant trees & shrubs, particularly winter blooming shrubs, i.e. witch hazel, Pink Dawn Viburnum, Sarcococca (Sweet Box) and early blooming Camellias.
  • Spray roses and fruit trees with lime sulphur as soon as the leaves have fallen.
  • Clean up carefully under the plants.
  • Check stakes on trees & roses to protect them from winter storm or snow load damage.
  • Mulch marginally hardy plants such as cistus (Rock Rose) and caryopteris (Blue Beard). Keep mulch away from base of woody stem to prevent disease at stem.
  • Dig over beds of clay soil when moist – frost will break up the clay.
  • Don’t dig over good soil – winter rains will compact it and wash away nutrients.
  • Spread Dolomite lime around lime lovers such as lilacs.
  • Empty frost tender clay pots, wash and store.
  • Drain your irrigation system or have it blown out.
  • Drain and store hoses.
  • Service lawn equipment.
  • Inspect and repair hand tools.
  • Mix motor oil with sand in a bucket to clean and oil shovels.
  • Organize feeding stations for the birds.
  • Give house plants a rest. Cut back on fertilizer and do not over water.
  • Clean the gutters.

Water Garden:

  • Remove all surface plants, e.g. water lettuce, water hyacinths. Otherwise they decompose and you may have algae problems next spring.
  • Use a net to keep leaves out of the pond.
  • Don’t be tempted to drain the pond. Always leave 30% of the water in.
  • If a lot of bottom debris has collected scoop it out and put it in the compost.
  • Don’t leave the pump running over the winter. It lowers the temperature at the bottom of the pond. This may damage the fish and the water lilies.
  • If the pond freezes never smash the ice. The vibration will kill the fish. Put a pot of boiling water on the ice to melt it.

Posted in Gardening Tips