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Remove the last of the dead foliage. Tender plants should already have been brought into a frost-free greenhouse for storage in trays of deep mud or damp sand, or even in a bucket of water, until the risk of frost has passed.
Give winter protection to Gunnera by cutting off old leaves and placing them over the crown of the plants.
Zantedeschia (arum lilies) are not fully hardy, and can be protected by cutting them back and covering them with a layer of straw or bracken. In cold regions, or with more tender varieties, the plants should be brought into the greenhouse as described above.
If barley straw bales or pads were used to reduce algae during the summer months, these can now be removed and added to the compost heap. Let them sit by the edge of the pond for 24 hours before composting, so that pond insects can find their way back into the water.
Stop feeding fish once the cold weather sets in.
You can still divide hardy waterlilies and pond plants and cut back overgrown marginal plants, if required.
Rake out fallen leaves or shake off those that have gathered on protective netting.
Watch out for hungry herons - they will deplete fish stocks quickly. Nylon strings strung across the edges of the pond (where they often wait for fish) can deter them from approaching the water. They need to be 15cm (6in) from the ground and 15cm in from the edge of the pond.
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Things to do in the garden this month
Trees and shrubs
Greenhouse, conservatory and houseplants
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.