Task of the Month

Our horticultural experts are on hand to give you monthly advice on what to do now! We'll help you tackle tasks one month at a time to get your garden in tip top shape all year round.

November

Top Tip

With less to do in the garden over the next few months why not go walking outdoors in some of the lovely national looped walks, you can find one in your area on www.coillteoutdoors.ie or www.discoverireland.ie/walking.

You could also check out the walks, cycling trails and other amenities at Lough Boora Discovery Park, Co Offaly (which is a Bord na Móna amenity).

November is usually a damp chilly month but it is still a good time to get your garden in order before the Winter really sets in.

Watch out for late autumn foliage colour of Cotinus coggyria ‘Royal Purple’. Also known as “The Smoke Bush” which has rich purple foliage all summer and fantastic autumn tints.

Also look out for the striking white bark of Betula utilis jacquemontii known as “The Himalayan Birch”, this is a striking plant against a dark background with wonderful peeling white paper bark.

Berries and fruits which stand out in November are Pyracantha golden charmer known as “Firethorn” which is an upright wall plant or thorny hedge with bright golden berries in clusters all winter. Also for big red fruits look out for Malus red jade known as “The Crab Apple Tree” which grows to only three metres with beautiful flowers in spring pink in bud opening fully to white.

Outdoors

This month it is important to check all plants that are staked up or tied back to walls, they need to be secure as November can throw some severe gales at your garden. Prune back any top heavy plants starting with your fruit trees. You can take hardwood cuttings of the prunings of gooseberries and blackcurrants by taking pieces six inches long and inserting them deeply in a trench filled with Bord na Móna Growise Seed & Cutting Compost. These will have rooted by March and can be transplanted to a new site or given away to family and friends.

Continue to dig over heavy clay soils as frost will break this down into a crumbly texture. Leave light sandy soils alone until the Spring but you can cover them with a mulch of Bord na Móna Growise Farmyard Manure.

Plant out this season's bare root roses which will be available in the garden centres now. Choose between single large stem Hybrid Tea types which produce large cup flowers or the smaller flowering multi-stemmed Floribunda types. There are dozens of colours to choose from in each type. Roses like rich fertile soil so dig a large hole and fill with plenty of Bord na Móna Growise Enriched Top Soil, you need to plant roses deeply to the depth of the knuckle where it was grafted. Sprinkle in a light layer of Bord na Móna Growise Chicken Manure  and use these again in Spring and early Summer as roses likes plenty of feeding.

Dig out any remaining root vegetables. You can store these all Winter by lining a cardboard box with newspaper and a layer of Shamrock Irish Moss Peat. Place a row of your vegetables on this taking care that they are not touching and then cover with another layer of Peat Moss and then another layer of vegetables. Continue to the top and store it in a dry, frost-free area.

In the Glasshouse

If you are overwintering frost-tender plants you will need heating from November onward. A thermostatically controlled electric one is best as you can set it to the desired temperature and forget about it. Consider sealing off a small area if the house is big as this will be expensive to heat but do not forget about ventilation.

Clean your pots and seed trays of old plants and compost and give them a good wash down. This will prevent overwintering diseases like botrytis setting in. This is essential maintenance for sowing new seeds in Spring.

Enjoy November in your garden!

Brendan Howell
Bord na Móna Horticulturist

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Gardening should be fun, but often people are afraid of getting things wrong, and too worried to give it a go.

That’s where we come in – we’ve got simple tasks for improving your garden, laid out month by month. Just follow along and soon you’ll have a beautiful garden, and the satisfaction of knowing you did it all yourself. If you’d like a more practical garden, why not use your outdoor space to grow your own fruits and vegetables?

Our growbags and simple instructions take all the guesswork out of it, and you’ll be reaping the rewards in no time!