Outdoors in November

At this time of year you may find your lawn covered in fallen leaves. It is important to clear the leaves from the lawn as much as possible as they can cause problems.

Leaves can smother the grass and allow moss to take over.  The leaves also make the lawn an attractive home to worms which in turn are attractive to moles!  Leaves can be cleared using a traditional raking method or you can clear them with a blower, rotary lawn mower or leaf sweeper.

As soon as the leaves are down you can start to winter prune fruit trees.  However, stone fruit trees should never be pruned in the winter as the sap is being drawn back into the trees and the airborne spores of silver leaf can be drawn back into the vascular system at the same time. Buddleia, clematis, wisteria and anything potentially tender should be left until the back end of winter to avoid die-back in hard frosts.

Brighten up your front door with winter containers. Apart from the usual violas, pansies, primulas and polyanthus, consider using shrubs such as skimmia, euonymus or box and also evergreen perennials, grasses and sedges such as heuchera, Stipa tenuissima and carex for structure.

Wet winters can often result in very slippery paths.  Now is a good time to cut back overhanging branches to help the sun get to paths.  Regularly brush paths with a stiff broom and power wash to remove moss and algae.