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26/11/2013 at 16:59

Having order some new plants from a company on mail order this year with these new plants came a booklet for through the year gardening calendar giving a list of jobs to do around your garden each month.In the November part there is a job that say "do not tidy up 'too much' - various wildlife needs it for hibernation and shelter" now in my mind surely it would be better to clear all the leaves and twigs plus any other matter from the beds up and put in compost heap along with other compost through the year to give the wildlife more shelter in that then not clearing it up or am I missing something here?   

26/11/2013 at 17:15

you may be Del, sticks and leaves are part of nature and the wildlife is there amongst it. Not everything wants to live on a compost heap, lots of it would be buried too deeply to survive or be reached by birds foraging. I just clear it off the grass so it doesn't go yellow.

26/11/2013 at 17:21

We leave the leaves long enough for the hedgehogs to make their hibernation quarters then we bag most of them up, leaving a few piles of leaves and twigs in quiet corners for wood mice, toads and our other little neighbours to use as they wish.  We have a proper tidy up in the spring when the weather is warmer and the animals are lively again. 

26/11/2013 at 19:16

I'm aware we should keep sticks, leaves etc for wildlife.  However, I am a "tidyist".  

I do keep one or two areas for wildlife but in my borders and generally in the garden I keep things clear and "clean".  It keeps woodlice, snails, etc away from my precious plants.

Perhaps I am not yet environment-conscious enough!!  

KEF
26/11/2013 at 19:26

I tidy certain areas that I see the most. I do have parts that I leave and hope wildlife makes the most of them. I am keen about leaving seedheads and such for the birds, as well as feeding and providing them with fresh water.

I do remove and destroy any diseased leaves, such as blackspot from roses. I don't have what you would call a decent lawns, just green stuff, I rake from there, but leave leaves in hedge bottoms and some borders.

26/11/2013 at 20:25

Isn't it all a matter of compromise?  I mow the grass if it is dry enough and clear leaves from the lawn, but tend to leave them on the borders to act as a mulch and help the wildlife.  Some of the perennials are cut down, others with seedheads left for the birds.  I find that if the border edges are clipped the garden looks neater.  All leaves are collected and left in a heap in the end corner, and watered to stop them flying about!

Incidentally, I planted a climbing rose yesterday and this morning found that a critter had dug into the hole - probably a fox, as they were around last night. 

 

  

26/11/2013 at 20:42

Patsy.  Did you incorporate fish blood n bone fertiliser?  Or another organic one?  Offen foxes will dig looking for the fish, etc. I would leave piece of mesh or similar around the plant for a while 

27/11/2013 at 07:49

Oh, yes, of course.  I used bonemeal, which obviously attracted it!  Thank you for the reminder and advice.  Nothing was at it last night, but I will protect it.

27/11/2013 at 11:00

We keep the grass clear but not the beds as we like to leave a layer of shelter and food for the worms, insects and birds.   We have log piles for hibernating critters and an insect hotel which I replenish every autumn.  Beds get cleared only of as many weeds as possible and collapsed stems of perennials. 

The rest get left on to take the frosts - and look attractive - and protect the crowns as well as providing food and shelter for tiny critters and birds.   No more hoeing till spring in case we decapitate bulbs and shoots.

27/11/2013 at 11:22

Hi, I only tidy up where I have to at this time of year. This means those beds where spring flowers, e.g snowdrops, are expected ; leaves on lawn, because not doing it now means even more work next year helping the lawn recover. Everything else I leave to Spring to do. This helps the wildlife, and I can see where I am when the new growth emerges, where new gaps need plugging etc. It is also the time for new projects which might mean starting over in an existing bed.If I tidy now much of it will need retidying next year… double jeopardy!  

That's my excuse anyway.

27/11/2013 at 13:52

I had a bit of a tidy this morning. All the steps cleared of leaves so we don't slide down on our bums. The hips give enough grief without that.

I was going to take the mower round and pick up the leaves on the grass but the battery is flat and won't take a charge so we'll have to get another one.

We have been aware that the battery is on the way out for at least 6 monthsSo I'm still admiring a golden patch of field maple leaves from one window and wild cherry from the other

27/11/2013 at 16:46

It appears this morning I was wrong! having been thinking I was being too tidy today I was giving the shrubs a gentle trim over and forking the boarders up then edging the lawn too for last 5/6 weeks keeping lawns leaf free and just blowing the borders too get leaves out. well as I was saying today I found that when I was blowing the leaves for last few weeks I was not fully getting them all from under the shrubs so today I have left them in there for miss mother natures friends top tip of the day get the leaves clear up while they are damp then u wont chase them around and around yes I know u cant use  leaf suckers or the mower but I found best way is to blow them in one pile and then rake up and barrow or use the trailer pulled by the ride on then do the next section thanks for the replies

    

28/11/2013 at 20:25

I cut the dahlia foliage and dig up the tubers. Also the dead tomato plants and remove the  runner bean vines. I do quite a lot of cutting  dead foliage so that I can compost it. I also sweep up leaves on the paths for compost . We have too many snails on our allotments despite frogs so I collect as many as I can and relocate them in a nearby waste land around the edges of a car park. If only we had hedgehogs but they would probably  make straight for the main road..  As I plant broad beans at this time I have to clear a plot, dig in compost. I put a fleece over the bean bed this year only to return and find it covered in muddy marks as if there had been a great foxesV cats V rats Vsquirrels brawl.If the beans will actually come up is anyone's guess.

 

  

28/11/2013 at 22:27

Tidied up my "white" border today, dahlias cut back and mulched, cosmos composted, Winchester Cathedral roses pruned very hard, anaphalus cut down, edges trimmed. Robin loved it and turned up every time I turned my back. 

Next stop , main Dahlia bed, perhaps tomorrow….. time for bed now

29/11/2013 at 00:01

I tend  to lightly trim to give some protection over winter, and  if i have to put anything  in the greenbin  I prop the lid open to let any insects escape. 

29/11/2013 at 10:18

As I cut back foliage, prune roses etc I cut the bits into approx 6 inch lengths. This may help rotting down , but even if it doesn't it makes the resulting compost more manageable. Less work in the long run?

29/11/2013 at 12:25

Looking forward to the promised sunshine on Saturday to do some Autumnal clearing, cutting back and general tidy. I find it frustrating to see the garden before I leave for work, knowing that I can't get out there until the weekend. I do like to leave piles of stuff around for wildlife, but have the tug of tidyness which makes for an interesting internal battle!

29/11/2013 at 13:58

Work, I remember that. Leaving here in the dark and getting back in the dark. 

29/11/2013 at 14:56

Dahlia bed now put to bed for the duration… cut back and mulched. I have always lifted the tubers in the past but this year I am leaving them in, with a covering of spent potting compost collected over the summer. Fingers crossed . Next job is leaf collection, now that they are all down. Will keep you posted.

KEF
29/11/2013 at 15:00

Wish all our leaves were down Woody. First year I've really grown Dahlia, mine are now the shed. Would you give me a shout when I need to plant them ?  Otherwise I might find them this time next year.  

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