It's been a very cold snap over the last week or so.But after a stunning autumn when the colours were so brilliant, the frost and the blue sky have given the garden a different look.
You may think this is the time of year when there is little to do in the garden- certainly when the ground is frozen or so wet you can't move for mud, those are the times to stay clear of the garden. The falling leaves will rot down, you can rake up the leaves from paths and grass but leave them on the borders, unless they are too thick and smother plants. Leaf mould is made by a fungus, and if you gather the leaves and store in plastic bags- make sure they have some holes for moisture to escape, for a year or so they can be used as a mulch. If you leave them longer they break down and can be combine with compost in which to sow seeds. The more substantial way would be to build a rectangle with stakes and surround with chicken wire, this then holds the leaves whilst they break down. However the work in the garden is going on without your intervention. The leaves falling onto the borders or in corners will be providing shelter for hedgehogs, and toads. As the leaves decay they feed the soil food web- from earthworms to centipedes, bacteria and fungi. The freezing we have had this last week will have managed some of the pests, like slugs and snails.
Jobs you could do this month:
Click on images to enlarge.