November is the ideal time to stake your plants， step up your watering regime and tidy-up in preparation for summer. Here’s a round-up of things？to tick off your spring to-do list
Stake your plantsburlap throw pillow covers
November can be windy so make sure recently planted shrubs， trees and tall perennials are staked well. Or treat yourself to a flash obelisk； it will add vertical interest， too.
Treat your garden to a tidy-up
Time for a tidy-up before you get into summer entertaining mode. Giving everything – hedges， lawn edges and shrubs and trees – a quick trim can work wonders.
It’；s time to bring out the water blaster
Dragging out the water blaster is a good idea if your decks and paving are slippery with mould and dirt accumulated over winter.
Give your garden a lift
For a quick fix to lift the garden out of post-winter doldrumspersonalized pillow cases， try filling every spare bit of space， including containers and hanging baskets， with summer-flowering annuals.
Plant plenty of easy-to-grow annuals
Alyssum， marigolds and lobelia top my list of all-round easy-to-grow， top-performing annuals. Depending on the sun or shade in your garden， you could also try geraniums， impatiens， petunias， zinnias and Californian poppy. Plant plenty for the best effect.
Plant densely and get mulching
Bare earth is a magnet for weeds so planting densely is a great way to reduce the problem. Mulching is the other option； spread an organic mulch (at least 10cm thick) over bare areas to keep weeds at bay， give the garden a unified look and retain soil moisture.
Try pebble mulches
Pebble mulches are great for potted succulents， frangipani and other heat-lovers as they help warm up the soil as well as reducing weeds and giving your containers a contemporary look.
Get watering those container plants
Don’t forget to water container plants， particularly those on sheltered decks where the rain doesn’t reach. Flowering annuals need plenty of moisture to do well but their potting mix or soil should be free-draining as they also hate wet feet.
Step up your watering regime
If you haven’t had much rain lately you’ll need to step up your watering regime for the whole garden. Garden hoses are said to be the most efficient way of watering as you can direct the water to the plants that need it most. However， time-poor gardeners could think about an automated watering system.
Give good cut-backs
Once plants such as aquilegia， daisies and delphinium have finished blooming， give them a good cut-back. With luck， you may get a second flush of flowers later in the season.
Words by： Carol Bucknell. Photography by： Getty Images.
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