November in the garden - still plenty to do

November in the garden - still plenty to do We’ve started planting seedlings into the big tunnel, where the ranunculus and anemones are sprouting too.  And we’ve cleared the small tunnel so that it’s almost ready to have the first crop of sweet peas for next year planted into it.  I’ll plant the ranunculus and the sweet peas when they’re a bit bigger – probably at the end of November/beginning of December – and they’ll sit tight, possibly looking a bit sulky, until mid Feb when they’ll begin to put on a bit of growth, and be flowering in the spring – yes, gardening is a constant lesson in putting faith in the future, not a bad thing in times like these, don’t you think? 

We are moving the roses this winter, so I’m ordering 200 more to go where the dahlias have been for the past seven years.  The dahlias are ALL being lifted this winter and I’ll store them on the floor of the office till I’m ready to chop them up and pot them up on 1st April next year (see my workshop 'The Flower Farmer’s Year' for more info on our strict flower farming calendar that ensures we get everything done exactly when it needs doing!)  On the first of June next year the dahlias will be planted out where the tulips have yet to be planted (the tulip bulbs haven’t arrived yet, but I know they will the first week of November, because Peter Nyssen are very organised and that’s when I asked for them to be delivered.)  Hopefully we’ll have a hard enough winter to burn off any tulip fire with frost, though being here in the south west of England our winters tend to be warm and wet thanks to the gentle gulf stream. 

Meanwhile I’m beginning the winter mulch of the beds (2 inches good compost all over every bed throughout the farm,) and digging out the gutters down the sides of them so that no plant sits with its neck in water when the weather gets really Somerset in the next month or so. You can find out more about how why and how we do this on our Design A Cut Flower Patch online workshop. 

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