Amongst the list of November bonsai jobs are sorting out the hats and gloves that have been stowed away since much earlier in the year.
With the clocks going back at the end of October, November seems to be a seismic change with the morning frosts and colder, darker evenings. Leaves continue to fall and as a result it will be no surprise that they feature heaviest in this months jobs.
So without further ado, here is our list of bonsai jobs for November.
Gather leaves for leafmould
The one big bonus of the turn in the weather is the bountiful harvest of fallen leaves. While its great to see them on the tree and to view the spectacular autumn colours throughout, they can be the gift that keeps giving. See our guide to making leafmould to get you started.
Do take care not to disturb any hibernating hedgehogs when gathering leaves. if you think that you have an hedgehog sleeping in your garden then best to avoid the area and leave them be.
Prune fruiting bonsai trees
Many species of fruiting trees such as crab apples benefit from a summer pruning and a winter pruning. The winter pruning can be undertaken anytime during the dormant season, once all leaves have been dropped. November is a good time to perform restyling, thinning out overcrowded branches while removing any crossing or damaged branches. Remember to cut back to a healthy bud and apply wound sealant where necessary.
Buy bare root trees
Now is a great time to buy bare rooted trees. They tend to be better value for money and will give you potential bonsai material for the coming years. Bare root trees are available from specialist nurseries and can be potted up or planted in the ground to thicken up. Add a mycorhizal fungi to the roots in order to help establish the tree.
Clear bonsai benches
It is important to keep your bonsai benches clean and clear. This helps with the health and aesthetics of your bonsai collection. With leaves still falling from the bonsai trees and any larger surrounding trees, this may seem like a never ending task. Keep on top of it, and you will be rewarded.
Put out food for the birds
Now is the time to put out bird feed and ensure that they have access to water. Taking a look through the feed available, you will be able to find a feed suitable for the type(s) of birds that frequent your garden. Do remember to continue putting out food once you start and you will be rewarded with a constant flurry of visiting birds.
Keep guttering clear
With the seemingly endless supply of falling leaves, it is important to keep the guttering on sheds and greenhouses clear. This will prevent down pipes becoming blocked and ensure that rainwater reaches the water butts. Use a broom to gather them in guttering and remove them by hand to be added to your leafmould pile. You can use a hose pipe to flush the down pipes but ensure you remove them from your water butt. Otherwise they will rot and make your water smelly.
With the colder, wetter weather your trees will require a lot less watering. Check your trees regularly to ensure that they are not too waterlogged and that water is able to run away from the pots. If necessary, move trees to a more sheltered spot to ensure they do not become too wet, especially pines and junipers.
Well, best of luck searching for the hat and gloves. We will also be digging out the flask for a supply of tea while out around the furthest corners of the nursery.
We wish you an enjoyable but safe bonfire night and Diwali, to offset the dull and darker nights. See you back again for our December bonsai jobs next month.