Gardening: How to plant a bare root rose
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Winter can be tough on newly potted plants and freshly dug spring bulbs but it can also be damaging to everything from your lawn to your greenhouse. With just a few days left of November, the temperature is already beginning to plummet leaving little time to get plants, lawns and tools prepared. Express.co.uk spoke to the gardening experts to find out what they’ll be doing in the garden this weekend and why you should do it too.
What to do in the garden right now
Getting everything from tools to furniture stowed away in the warmth should be your top priority this weekend to keep your gardening items in good condition ahead of spring.
Preparing your plants and protecting your greenhouse from the winter weather should be another priority to keep flowers and foliage from frost damage.
Rake autumn leaves
Burnt orange autumn leaves will quickly fade to greyish, brown tones as winter sets in, leaving little appeal for these once colourful leaves to gather in your garden.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Leigh Barnes from Jacksons’ Fencing said: “It is important that leaves aren’t left to build up against timber fencing panels.
“Using specially treated gravel boards will help prevent fence panels from coming into contact with the ground.”
Repurpose raked leaves
Raking the autumn leaves from your patio or lawn doesn’t mean they have to go to waste.
A blanket of leaves will provide protection against the inevitable harsh frosts and freeing snow which is typical of winter.
Leigh added: “Clear all your fencing borders of any lingering weeds, or fallen leaves and reuse them on your flowerbeds.”
This will create a layer of protection against the winter weather.
Maintain garden borders
Now is the time to dig up the last of your annual plants while the soil still has some warmth.
Look out for any overcrowded perennials which will benefit from being divided up into a series of smaller plants, says Leigh.
Give your lawn some TLC
Getting out in the garden this weekend is essential for your lawn, says STIHL GB Product and Marketing Manager Paul Hicks.
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He added: “Autumn is an ideal time to give your lawn some TLC as grass often perks up at this time of year, becoming green and lush.
“It’s also important to prepare it for winter so that it can weather the harsher conditions.
“Mow your lawn for the last time as late as possible for the winter, particularly if mild weather persists.”
Paul’s top tips for last-chance lawn care include:
- Before mowing your lawn for the last time, ensure that it is clear of leaves and that the grass is dry
- With the last cut of the year, leave the grass slightly higher than normal
- Cut the lawn to a length of 3-5cm, to prevent weeds and allow grass to thrive throughout a cold winter
Focus on bulbs and flowers
It’s your last chance to get those spring bulbs dug in before the winter frost freezes the soil.
Pollyanna Wilkinson, award-winning Royal Horticultural Society show garden designer, told Express.co.uk: “Get those bulbs in the ground!
“Whilst it’s not the end of the world if you plant them in December (or even January at a push) it’s much easier to get any remaining spring bulbs in the ground now before the ground freezes.”
Plant Christmas flowers
If you want Paperwhite narcissus flowering for Christmas – plant them now, says Polly – they take just three to five weeks from planting to bloom.
Lift fragile flowers and plant hardy roots
Dahlias are particularly prone to frost damage and will need to be lifted as soon as possible.
Pollyanna told Express.co.uk: “Your dahlias have likely been bitten by the frosts by now – so lift them and store in a cool frost-free place, or in milder areas you can leave them and apply a thick mulch to protect them over winter.”
She added: “Plant bare-root hedging, roses, trees and shrubs, before the ground freezes. If it’s too late, you’ll need to wait for spring.”
Holly Jones, garden design expert at Garden street added her bonus tips for a busy weekend in the garden.
- Moving planters off the ground to prevent them from becoming waterlogged
- Planting winter flowering plants such as primroses and winter pansies
- Prepare your soil for the winter -turn over the soil while it is still retaining some of the heat from summer
- Ensure your plants are protected from frost by moving them into a sheltered and insulated area such as a greenhouse or conservatory
- Clear and collect leaves. Leaves can be left in bin bags to decompose into leaf mould
- Store away any garden furniture or cover them with furniture covers
- Aerate the lawn and continue to mow it in milder spells, but raise the height of the blades on the mowers
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