Protect Tender Plants:-
- Lift and store tender borderline hardy plants with fleshy tubers, rhizomes or corms that can be dug up and stored over winter in a semi-dormant state. Cannas, dahlias, begonias, gladiolis are good candidates.
- If you have plants that cannot be moved but that need protection (fig, hardy bananas) you can protect them with flex, burlap or straw for insulation. You can build a wire cage around the plants ,back with straw and wrap in fleece or burlap and apply a think layer of mulch to the roots to protect from frost.
- Routinely prune climbing roses after their flowers have finished. Reduce tall stems to minimize damage from winter winds, remove dead diseased and dying branches and tie new shoots to supports. Prune flowing sideshows back to a third of their length and cut out old or congested branches from the base to promote new growth.
- Reduce tall Buddleia by half to reduce wind and snow damage and the prune as normal in the spring
- Prune canes of raspberries and other soft fruits after harvesting.
- Look for from plump bulbs free from mold or damage. Plant roughly 3 x the depth of the bulb. Spring flowing crocus, daffodils and hyacinths should be planted by early October, summer flowering alliums and lilies should be planted by the end of the month and Tulips by the end of November.
- Pick sunny well drained sites, improve soil with garden compost and grit if very heavy and badly drained
- Most bulbs grow well in containers, especially tulips, alliums and lilies. For short term container displays use a multi-purpose combos wit added grit for drainage. Bulbs can be planted close togged together for impact.
- Try to plant tulips in groups of six or more in borders. The more grouped together, the more vibrant the display.
- If naturalizing bulbs in lawns, scatter the bulbs randomly and plant where they fall.
- Reduce mowing frequency as growth slows. Prepare new lawns by seeding or laying sod. Over-seed worn patches in existing lawns and repair any damage caused by fungal diseases or pests.
- Scarify lawns with a spring-tined rake to collect and remove excess thatch (old grass stems and dead moss). It is best to do this before fertilizing.
- Aerate using a garden fork or aerator to spike lawns suffering from compaction to encourage the roots.
- Topdress aerated soils with one part compost, three parts sandy loam and six parts sharp sand - rake carefully into holes. Over-seed top-dressed areas where needed.