Getting in Shape by Catherine the Garden Lady
As we move into late autumn, the days are getting shorter and the garden is beginning to look increasingly bare with only grasses and late-flowering perennials adding colour and interest. But don’t be downhearted for there is still much to enjoy such as the odd sunny day, late fruit, turning leaves, log splitting, mulching and roasted chestnuts. November is a great time to sow seeds and plant flowers such as tulips, it will keep you looking ahead.
If you haven’t done so already, you should start with the autumn clean up by getting your trees and plants in shape but avoid being heavy-handed! There are plenty of plants that will benefit from being cut back and kept in shape, just remember to always use clean sharp tools.
You should also control any climbing plants and make sure they do not outgrow their space or suffer from the wind. Always check the recommended time for pruning individual varieties like Grapevines which are vigorous growers and need to be kept in check. Grapevines bleed sap when they are cut so prune them in the autumn when it is safe, Jasmine is also best done in the autumn.
Cut back cane fruits and start shaping roses. The main season for pruning roses is late winter but you can already make some useful cuts in the autumn. You should also look at pruning trees and shrubs to prevent wind rock damage.
Cut back dry foliage and stems of late-flowering perennials such as rudbeckias. Leave the seed heads on sedums, rake up fallen leaves and leave them to rot down to make leaf mould compost which makes a great mulch and good quality potting compost. Power shredders will help you recycle your garden refuse and help create shredded matter for the compost heap.
Getting in Shape – Written by Catherine Williams, The Garden Lady