Slight frosts have turned dahlia foliage black and it is time to cut them down. You can store them for the winter but turn them upside down to drain water out of the stems. When dry, store them upside down in boxes in a frost free place, covered with a little old compost. As winters are becoming milder, dahlias can be left in the ground with a covering of mulch. I have done this for the last few years and this winter I’m putting sheep’s wool round some as an experiment.
There has been much late autumn colour as some plants revived after the rain and flowered again. However it is time to cut down and tidy the borders. I leave any interesting seed heads until next year. Clear thick coverings of leaves as slugs use them as duvets and eat new shoots!
Clean used pots and seed trays ready for next year. During the bad weather look through garden magazines and seed catalogues to plan your garden for next year – something to look forward to!
Ed – Elizabeth will be taking a winter break. Gardener’s World will be back in the spring.