Clean your greenhouse and disinfect it in time to overwinter tender perennials such as pelargoniums. You can either line with bubble wrap or install a heater on a timer to keep it to temperature when the thermometer drops below zero.
If your terracotta pots have a particularly intricate, raised design or are sited in a frost pocket, it is definitely worth fleecing these to protect them from frosts. I find that garden fleece or bubble wrap works well and you can always ‘pretty it up’ with some hessian on top. It also helps to keep the pots dry by raising them off the ground for winter. This helps them drain freely too.
Remember your herbs! Mediterranean herbs such as sage, thyme and rosemary may look hardy but remember from when they originate! Best to play it safe and place in the greenhouse or protect with fleece. Other more hardy herbs such as mint and fennel are happy to be planted out in late autumn.
Leaf mould is king! Rather than burning fallen leaves, compost them. Create a special leaf mould bin using wire mesh and four posts, pile in the leaves and let them rot. In a couple of years, you’ll have crumbly compost for potting and mulching. If space is tight, you can always use a damp bin bag.
Your parsnips will sit happily in the ground over winter. If you have a large veg patch, it might be an idea to mark where they are in case you have trouble finding them once the leaves have died back. I like nothing more than harvesting mine for Christmas lunch. They also make a great soup – delicious!
Lastly, now is the time to plant trees. You can buy them bare-root at this time of year which is much less expensive. The trees are dormant and the ground is still warm enough to welcome new plants. A well planted tree will sit happily through the winter months and wake up in the spring, ready to explore its new surroundings.