Sunday, 2 November 2014

November Ramblings

What to do in the garden and greenhouse this month?

With any luck, you were able to finish your garden bed clean up? Top dressed the beds with compost or manure? Planted your spring flowering bulbs? ... and your garlic?

If not, these things can still be done, though is harder to get enough rain free days here on the coast.

What To Do This Month .... 

Garlic - if you can still find some to plant, do so today! Immediately, get it in the ground asap!

Citrus Trees-  Bring your potted up citrus fruits into the house, the greenhouse, or the cold frame.

Spray them down with insecticidal soap, let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse off really well with a strong jet of water, both tops and bottoms of the leaves.This gets rid of the soapy residue as well as any lingering bugs that may have escaped the soap. Give special attention the the undersides of the leaves as that is where scale will be. If you can get rid of scale while it is still soft, it will be much easier to eradicate than when it has made that hard shell.

If going indoors, place in a bright light area in front of a large window or slider door.  Preferably not in a room that you keep really warm. Likes to be around 10 to 12 C degrees.

If it is going into a cold frame or unheated greenhouse, wrap with a string of the old fashioned Christmas lights that put off heat (not the new LED). If we get a cold snap that will go lower than +1 C degrees, plug in the Christmas lights, and wrap the tree with burlap or remay cloth to keep the warmth in until the cold snap is over. Remove the remay cloth and unplug the lights till next time ; )
Or, if you have no string of lights, place a floor or table lamp into the greenhouse with enough wattage to keep the temps above zero during the cold snap.

If going into a heated greenhouse, keep temps between 5 and 10 C degrees. 
Spring flowering bulbs - Plant tulip bulbs now, in pots and in the garden, for great colour next spring.

Force some bulbs for indoors, too... paper whites and hyacinths for Christmas!

Garden clean up....

- Lift glads and dahlias after the frost blackens their foliage. For the how-to, see HERE!. 
They can also be left in the ground in a zone 5 and up, but mulch them up well to keep them warm.

- Clean your ceramic and clay pots, put them under cover of some kind..  the garage, shed or eaves, to keep them from breaking this winter.

- Clean up all the leaves and debris from your shrubs, roses, and perennials.

- Rake leaves into a pile and then run them over with the lawn mower to shred. Use this leaf mulch for your winter veggies, your perennial beds, to top dress your garden beds, to make a new lasagna bed, or add to your compost bin. 

 Double Delight
- Prune roses to about 12 inches high in order to prevent breakage should we get some snow.
Is especially important to prune back your limbs on the standard roses (aka tree form roses) so that any snow load does not weigh them down and either bow the stem, or snap it. 

In the Potager ... 
- Hill up the soil around your leeks to blanch them (helps make the white tender part longer!)
- Hill your celery, too! 
- Lift your beets

Plant the following now for all winter eating or earlier spring crops ..
- Broad beans
- Peas
- Shallots
- In coldframe, plant up some lettuce, spinach, greens, kale, radishes to enjoy all winter long...

- Sweet Peas
- Calendula

 For fun and decor...

Pot up some Yuletide planters and pots for your front stoop, to add colour and interest.
Keep it simple but be unique, think outside the box!No more drooping boughs stuck into pots with bits and bobs of Christmas decor, please!

Evergreens are super awesome for the winter or year round! Love this collection below...


Or this lovely chartreuse coloured long needled pine!


Or heather...


Happy November and happy Yuletide planning, shopping and decorating

Heather and pansies

Moving Thyme

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