1. We always generously sprinkle Blood, Fish and Bone, or Bonemeal all over the garden in October and then thoroughly water it in, or lightly fork it into the soil and the same again in early spring. Buy the large 25kg bags at their cheapest, (when they are reduced), at Codsall & Wergs Garden Centre, (under £20).
2. Orchids. If you are purchasing an orchid as a long term investment to brighten the house in the dark days of Autumn / Winter, why not go the extra mile and buy three, perhaps different colours and place the three into one large container. If the container is large enough, the orchids can be left in their original pots. The result is much more splendid than one.
It might be seemingly expensive, but when you consider the plants will flower for several months if carefully watered and fed every ten days or so, it works out as cheap or cheaper than buying cut flowers over the same period. Lealans Garden Centre often have a very good selection of reasonably priced orchids.
Orchids at Lealans Garden Centre
3. Don`t forget to wrap pots with a double layer of bubble wrap to protect both bulbs and pot.
Also raise pots off the ground on pieces of slate, etc., or pot feet. The tops should be covered with fleece, a thick mulch or bark, or as we do, with shredded rubber tyres, which does not freeze.
4. Ladybirds. At this time of the year it is still possible to find ladybirds out and about. They are best placed in a very sheltered spot such as the interior of thick shrubs or hedges, or better still, in a ladybird house.
5. Protect dahlias, eucomis and other tender plants which die down in Autumn with conifer cuttings. Then lay over a plastic drip dray. Stake down with short canes and cover with more conifer cuttings.
The drip tray keeps excess wet from the crown of the plant. A piece of bubble wrap can be used instead of the tray.