“How sad would be November if we had no knowledge of the spring!”
– Edwin Way Teale
The clocks have changed, and autumn is now blending into winter. Shorter days and a fall in temperature mean less time is spent in the garden but pop on a jacket and gloves and make the most of any dry days.
The time has arrived to batten down the hatches. When protecting tender plants from the winter ahead remember that pots and garden ornaments may also need to be wrapped to prevent frost cracking. Parts of the garden will need to be cleared to make space for spring bulb planting but don’t be too hasty. There’s no reason to leave clumps of soggy blackened annuals but many perennials can be left until spring, providing shelter and food to birds and other creatures.
Sorry but there’s no getting away from it, Christmas is not far away and there are gifts to be sought and bought. The Suttons Gift for Gardeners catalogue is available now, packed with creative, garden-themed gifts. There really is no need to go tramping round crowded shops on a cold wet Saturday. Instead make a brew, light the fire and browse through our inspiring catalogue. You’ll find something for even that most-difficult-to-buy-for-person. I’m sure we all know one!
Our top ten recommended tasks this month include:
- November is the best time to be planting tulips. This later planting helps prevent a disease called Tulip Fire. Mix and match the colours or combine colours that will deliberately clash to give real impact to your display.
- It’s not too late to plant daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs. Checkout our website for offers and visit our blog for tips on naturalising your bulbs.
- Houseplants will do best kept in good light, away from radiators and fires. Stop feeding them and only water sparingly.
- If you haven’t already done so, then sow some sweet peas in early November and your reward will be strong plants bearing early blooms.
- Dahlias can be lifted and stored but only when the stems have first been blackened by frost
- Rake leaves from the lawn and put them somewhere to rot down for 12 to 18 months. The result will be valuable leaf mould, a great soil improver and superb potting compost.
- Cut peonies down to ground level, compost the stems and place a marker so that you don’t forget they are there and dig them up!
- Bonfire season starts now but please always remember to do a hedgehog check before lighting.
- Plant garlic and then cover with fleece to stop the birds pulling up the cloves.
- For fresh winter salads sow Leaf Salad Winter Mix and grow on a sunny windowsill.
One of the many positives about winter has to be comfort food. Soups, stews and casseroles can brighten the gloomiest of days. And what do we need to add extra layers and depth of flavour? We need herbs, and home-grown are the freshest and therefore the best.
Herbs that have grown outside in pots need to be moved under cover or to a sheltered position, perhaps against the wall of the house. Those growing direct in the garden will keep going for longer if protective fleece is draped over them.
Many herbs can be grown indoors, all year round so grab some pots, compost and herb seeds, clear a space on the windowsill and get sowing! You’ll have tasty fresh herbs within just a few weeks.
On 11th November 2018 we commemorate the centenary of the ending of the First World War.
Suttons has been supporting SSAFA for several years now. SSAFA is a charity providing lifelong support to our Armed Forces, veterans and their families.
“At the outbreak of the First World War, the Government called on SSAFA to take care of the families of soldiers going to the Front. We were there for our Armed Forces family then, we’re still here for them now.”
Up to the 11th of the 11th Suttons is donating to SSAFA all proceeds from packs of Field Poppy seeds. Thereafter 20p per pack will be donated.
For those who prefer roses to poppies, Suttons will donate £1 to SSAFA from the sale of every Rose Mountbatten bare root plant.
Birdfeeders not only help our garden birds to survive the colder month, when food is scarce, but also can provide hours of entertainment. The wider the variety of food that you put out then the wider variety of species you will attract. To prevent disease the feeders will need to be cleaned regularly and fresh water is as important as the food.
Queen bumblebees will be out and about in early spring and will welcome a feed from a pot of nectar rich crocus. Now is the time to plant up such a pot, put it in a sunny spot and keep it watered.
Frogs, toads, small mammals and invertebrates will all be seeking protection from the cold weather and predators. Some lucky creature will quickly take up residence in a small pot, filled with dry leaves and left on its side in a sheltered spot. And a pile of logs or shrubby prunings and clippings will become home to many.
Remember, remember, the 5th of November! With selected plants and bulbs, you can have fireworks all year round, with no upset neighbours or frightened animals.
Plant of the Month
Winter can be dark and gloomy but all it takes is some colour in the garden to raise our spirits and what can be better than some winter bedding plants? Whether you’re after colourful borders or beds to be proud of our range has it all. But if you can’t decide, we’ve put together a lucky dip of 9cm plants to help keep your garden looking cheerful throughout the colder months.
It’s hard for us to grow exactly the right number of plants that we need each season. We sometimes grow too many of the same varieties. You can take advantage of this, and order a ‘Lucky Dip’ at a fraction of the normal cost! The plants will be select by us from our outstanding range so that you can create spectacular displays in hanging baskets and patio containers!