The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Monday 4 November 2019

Battery power vs petrol power

There was a time when it seemed petrol powered outdoor tools would always reign supreme. Battery powered tools were regarded by gardeners as no competition. They couldn’t match the power and uninterrupted operation of their two-stroke counterparts. That time has passed.

Today’s Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionised the way we work with battery powered tools. Now they can produce the power to equal petrol equipment while producing zero emissions at the point of work. Noise levels are also greatly reduced and the benefits don’t stop there.

This Month in Your Garden - November

‘Dull November brings the blast, then the leaves are whirling fast’.  - Sara Coleridge.

Another poet, James Rigg, in his ‘Wildflower Lyrics’ wrote of October ‘yielding her easel bright to November’s black and white.’ A slight misquote but one which demonstrates the way we used to see November. With so much choice today, it needn’t be a dull month at all. There’s plenty of activity with late digging, composting, cleaning the greenhouse, and planting bare root roses, along with clematis, honeysuckle and jasmine.

The Lawncare Guide - November

Still growing? Keep mowing.

Depending on the weather in your area you may still need to mow but set your mower or cutting deck to winter height (which you would have done in October). The height depends on your type of grass. For ornamental grass a winter cut of around 18mm, leisure, 25mm and utility 25mm+ are often the recommended heights but as a rule of thumb most household lawns will benefit from final cuts at about 4cm (1.5”) to help protect the grass through the winter.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. Can I adjust the pH of my soil?

The Big Glut Recipe - November

Maple glazed parsnip and chestnut loaf

The nut roast of nut roasts, serves 6-8.


  • 150g unsalted butter, plus an extra knob and a little to grease
  • 150-200g parsnips, trimmed and cut lengthways into 1.5cm slices
  • 50g pecan halves or pieces
  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 200g button or chestnut mushrooms, quite finely chopped
  • 200g chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • ½ small bunch fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs, finely chopped
  • Small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g plain flour
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 3 large free-range eggs

The Vegetable Plot - November

You might be relieved to know if your soil is light, sandy loam, it’s best to leave digging it over until the spring, whereby it won’t lose too much moisture. For those of us where the subsoil is heavy clay then, sorry folks, we’ll need to take a fork to it and turn it, leaving it rough to break down in the frosts.

Where the ground has not been dug for a long time, we’ve talked before about using the double digging technique so here it is again. Use a spade to dig a trench one spade deep then fork the bottom to the depth of the fork. Dig the next trench and turn the soil into the first and so on until the last trench is dug and you use the soil from the first trench to fill it. Keep off the dug area until spring planting.