News and announcements from Grosvenor Garden Centre, Chester

Grosvenor

Archive for November, 2012

Gardening Tips for November

The clocks have ‘fallen back’ and we are now counting down to the festive season with a vengeance.  If you are feeling anything like us, you will be wondering where 2012 disappeared to!

But this time of year is one of our favourites here at Grosvenor Garden Centre as we put the finishing touches to our Christmas displays and Santa’s Living Room miraculously appears ready for heartwarming events including Storytime with Santa.

But, back to business as we turn our attention to your garden.  Sunny, wintery days highlight the changing of the seasons as the leaves fall and a bite can be felt in the air.  So make the most of dry days and give your garden a bit of tender loving care with most areas needing attention before the colder weather sets in.

Look after your lawn by making sure it is rid of fallen leaves – these can be added to the compost heap to rot over the coming months.  If you have not already done so, treat your garden to a treatment to kill moss and bolster the grass to better survive the weather ahead.  If your lawn is still growing, continue mowing fortnightly.

Continue to mow if your lawn is still growing

Continue to mow if your lawn is still growing

Throughout the winter months, protect your plants from the harshest of weathers.  Add a deep layer of compost (5cms) to protect the rootage of your outdoor plants for a little added protection.

Perennials (this means plants that should appear again every year) can be divided now to boost growth and flowering ability next year.

Divide perennials, including Gaillardia, now

Divide perennials, including Gaillardia, now

It is also time to finish off your planting for new colour next spring with plants such as wallflowers, winter pansies and violas to be ready in the ground.  Tulip bulbs should establish well if you plant them now before the soil has chance to cool down.

November and December are such popular months for houseplants that they really do spring to mind as the perfect Christmas gift idea – and indeed, a gift for any time of year.  Phalaenopsis Orchids are one of our most popular choices, available in all colours from the palest white to the deepest crimsons and purples.  And they are really easy to care for too – it is a misconception that they can be hard to look after as they thrive from neglect!  Not too much though!

Orchids - a great Christmas gift idea!

Orchids - a great Christmas gift idea!

The popularity of Hyacinths knows no bounds so simply add your prepared bulbs to a small amount of water (1cm deep) in a specially-designed glass vase and wait for leaves and buds to appear from the tops of the bulbs.

Christmas Cactus and Cyclamen should be watered and fed regularly for best results.  There is no need to move them – if they are happy where they are, keep them there.  Your Cactus in particular could become miserable and drop its buds if it has been moved around.

Homegrown winter vegetables really come into their own this month as you begin to harvest early Brussels sprouts, leeks and parsnips.  Pull your parsnips up and place carefully on the top of the soil ready for early frosts to develop natural carbohydrates into sugar for that delicious sweet taste.

Dig over any areas you would like to use as an extension to your Edible Garden now.  Use compost to prepare the area thoroughly and give it a boost with a soil conditioner too.

Many fruits can be planted this month from apples to blackcurrants and pears to red fruits such as raspberries and redcurrants (don’t forget to make your own delicious jams when they ripen!). Again, your soil would benefit from a conditioning treatment before you plant out these fruits to encourage rootage to spread out and into the treated soil.

Any remaining tree fruits such as apples and pears should now be picked so that you can begin the pruning stage.  Dead wood and branches that have not borne any fruit can be discarded.  Any stems should be halved and emerging side shoots should be pruned to three leaf joints to encourage new fruit spurs to form over the coming years.

Transform surplus fruit into delicious jam

Transform surplus fruit into delicious jam

Finally, as thoughts turn once again to the winter season, it is important to make sure the areas in your garden that need protecting, are protected, especially tender, non-hardy plants.  Always keep a good quantity of fleece on standby ready for the frosty nights.

If you have any queries on any of these tips or the terms used, please do not hesitate to contact us – we’re here to help!