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November Gardening

Leave those leaves!

In autumn leaves fall from deciduous trees, its okay to let them stay on the ground, we encourage you to! The leaves act as a mulch on flower beds, protecting the soil and when they break down they improve the structure. Worms pull leaves below ground where they rot down. Piles of leaves also provide homes for wildlife, like hedgehogs and shelter for over-wintering insects.

November is a great time to plant bulbs, to provide early nectar for emerging bumblebees in the spring. Bulbs need to be planted two and half times as deep as their height, but if you have a problem with squirrels, plant them as far down as your trowel length – and then some! Crocus look fabulous naturalised in a lawn.

With bulbs, the pointy end faces up and the tufty, root plate, at the bottom. Bulbs hate to sit in wet and will rot, so if you have heavy clay soil add some grit for drainage. Bulbs can be planted in pots to make a lovely cheery display come spring. Cover the top with chicken wire, to keep squirrels from digging them up, once they have sprouted you can remove it. 

November is also a good time to plant bare-root trees, these are much cheaper, as the trees are in their dormant state. Make sure to soak the roots before planting. If you only have a small space, what about a dwarf apple tree? Or you could pop a small tree in a large pot and scatter wildflower seed balls underneath.

If Autumn days are bright and mild you can still sow wildflower seeds, in fact some wildflower seeds, like poppies need a cold spell to initiate germination. Scatter your seed balls on bare soil and let the increased rainfall do the watering for you!

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