RHS set to unearth the nations gardening knowledge with its first ever Dig Together Day (1,5 & 6 September)
I have a tip for leaf collection and disposal this month. We use the lawn mower to collect the leaves. We set it on a high setting so as not to get too much grass, and then it hoovers up the leaves as we go. Not only will it collect the leaves it will chop them into small pieces as it goes along. It used to save many hours of leaf collection. Empty the lawn mower collection bag into old fertiliser bags and keep them for a year or so. Make sure the bags you use thin bags that let the light in or things will start to grow. From time to time check the contents and if the leaves are dry add a small amount of water to keep them moist. This year I am going to try a few paper animal feed bags to see if the bag will decompose with the leaves.
More traditionally you can make a leaf bin using chicken wire. Simply hammer four wooden stakes into the ground and wrap the chicken wire around them to form a box. Adjust the size of the bin for the quantity of leaves you have.
Late Autumn is the perfect time to start a new compost heap. Take a drive around your local industrial estate and look for sources of free pallets. Many businesses will be happy to give the pallets away for free, just try asking. Five pallets are enough for a basic, but sturdy compost heap. Have a look at our plans for a luxury compost heap.
The Vegetable Garden in November
After the Beans and Peas have been harvested, turn the ground and leave it for the winter. Legumes have bacteria around their roots which store Nitrogen and by using the frosts of winter to break up the soil the nitrogen can be absorbed into the surrounding ground. It is also time to lift root vegetables, and store them for later use. Thin Onions and Turnips if required. Plant out late crops such as Cauliflower.
- Plant Garlic cloves
- Plant early varieties of veg in the greenhouse
The Fruit garden in November
Prune cane fruits when they have finished fruiting
Take any hardwood cuttings from fruit bushes
It's catalogue time in the fruit garden. Time to make the selection for next year and get them posted for planting in late Autumn. It is also a good time to start moving fruit trees to new locations. If you still have any Apples and Pears then get them harvested and stored. Cuttings from Apricots, Cherries and Gooseberries should be burnt to prevent any infections.
Wrap grease bands around fruit trees to prevent pests from climbing the trunks.