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Gardening Advice Blog

Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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November in the garden

by User Not Found | Oct 31, 2014


The days are getting colder and winter is nearly here. Prepare you plants and garden for the cold and wind.

Flowers.

Brighten up your garden with winter containers. Plant berried plants such as Skimmia, Callicarpa b.“Profusion”, Gaultheria, Solanum (Christmas Cherry), or flowers: Viola, Pansies, Primula and Polyanthus. You can also use a variety of evergreens and grasses.

Plant spring flowering bulbs as soon as possible. By using a mix of early bulbs such as Crocus and later flowering such as Tulips and Daffodils you will have colour from early spring to early summer. Bulbs look great in containers or in beds and are a welcome surprise after the dark winter months.

Move tender perennials into the shelter of a cool greenhouse. Lift plants such as Dahlias and tender Fuchsia before they are killed by frost. Store them in a shed for the winter in barely moist soil or sand.

Houseplants

Reduce feeding of houseplants to once per month for the winter months. Baby Bio is a great houseplant feed

Now that many plants are returning indoors for the winter, regularly check for pests such as aphids, red spider mite, mealy bug and scale insects.

When moving them indoors remember not to put it too close to the radiators and place them where they are getting sunlight. Reduce the amount of water you give to houseplants and keep your cacti and succulents barely moist.

Around the garden

It’s an ideal time to plant bare-rooted trees, shrubs and hedges. Remember not to let the bare roots dry out so plant them straight away or dig a hole in the ground and store them here until you are ready to plant. Protect the newly planted shrubs and trees from frost and wind rocking with bamboo/ stakes or windbreak.

Now is the traditional time to plant fruit trees, fruit bushes, roses and heathers. The ground is still warm from the summer and there is enough rain to keep the soil moist.

Attach grease bands to the trunk of the trees to prevent from winter moth damage

Mulch fruit trees and bushes with farmyard manure now and allow this to rot down over the winter months. Cover veg beds with manure and then cover with black polythene, carpet or ground cover fabric. Do this for beds that will be used in spring for hungry plants such as potatoes, legumes and brassicas. 

Lawn

Keep raking. Don’t leave the leaves for too long as they might yellow the grass underneath. They will block the light and prevent water from evaporating. Dark and damp conditions are ideal for slugs, snails and fungal diseases.

Aerate your lawn. By aerating you are allowing a better air and water flow around the roots. Simply insert a garden fork at regular intervals and lean it back slightly to let air in.  Concentrate on the areas that are worn. The lawn should be aerated every two years.

Do not allow frosty lawns to be walked on, it will damage the grass leaving a yellow patch when it thaws.

Jean's Bio
Hi my name is Jean, I am a horticulturist with CountryLife in the Ashford branch. I grew up on a farm where we always had a veg garden, so you could say that horticulture and agriculture is in the blood! I studied Landscape Horticulture in UCD and worked part-time in Fernhill Garden Centre, Athlone while I was in college. After graduating I worked in Landscape Architecture for three years before returning to the Garden Centre trade. I began in Keane’s Garden Centre, Kilcolgan, Co Galway and returned to Fernhill Garden Centre for three years before joining CountryLife.  Being a horticulturalist is a great job, you are surrounded by nature every day and there is always something to be done. Meeting customers and giving the advice is very rewarding especially when they report back positive results. I love growing my own fruit and veg and I’m always trying new varieties and ways of growing. The seasons are always changing and while the weather is challenging in Ireland, I believe we grow the best produce in the world.