Greenbelt

What to remember in November

Wind protection

If you live in a particularly windy area of the UK, your roses will benefit from a good topping to prevent wind rock – this is a bit like punk rock but the pogoing shakes up root systems not the establishment.

Cool cuttings

This is a good time of the year for hardwood cuttings of plants such as willow. As soon as the leaves fall, make a clean cut below a bud and a sloping cut above – this will help you tell your top from your bottom!

Stick the pencil-length cutting half way into compost – your new family of plants should be ready for potting by mid-summer.

Leaf gathering

Gather and store your leaves in a punctured (and recycled) bag – the bacteria that turn them to mould need air. It will take about a year for everything to rot down but the resulting mould is a super soil improver.

Free from frost

Tender perennials need extra TLC at this time of year so move them into the shelter of a greenhouse or frame and water a little less to bring on a state of sleepy, bear-like hibernation.

Plants such as dahlias can be gently lifted and stored in compost in a cool and airy place. Alternatively, some of last year’s leaf mould will help protect them outdoors.