What Jobs to do in the Garden in November
A month evocative of bonfires, wood smoke, low-lying mist and frosty mornings.
As we start to move from autumn to winter, the days become colder, darker, wetter.
Our focus this month is mainly on protecting plants from the elements and maintaining garden buildings such as sheds and greenhouses to ensure they can weather any storm.
There are still some plants we can grow and care for to see us through the winter months. Winter pots can brighten up a dull day.
How do I prepare my garden for Winter? Let’s take a look at what jobs to do in the garden in November.
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How do I prepare my garden for winter?
The main points to consider when preparing the garden for winter are as follows:
- Plant protection
- Cutting back
- Taking a breather
It is important to take stock at this time of year. We may not have as many opportunities to get in the garden due to the weather. Try to plan jobs for when the days are good enough to be outdoors and keep indoor tasks for a rainy day. That way you can still enjoy days outside whenever possible.
Check which tender or half-hardy plants need moving or protecting and keep a weather eye out for mention of frosts. Cover up accordingly with protective horticultural fleece. The more we can do to protect our plants the fewer disappointments we shall have. If in doubt, take cuttings or bring plants indoors.
Cleaning and maintenance jobs should be done now so that tools, pots and equipment that you won’t be using for a while can be put away untill after the winter.
Maintenance on outbuildings is essential to keep them weatherproof and in good order.
Take a breather yourself, the seasonal cycle allows for us to take some time to recoup, rest and be ready for spring. Gardening books are a great way to get a gardening fix on a cold wet November day.
Beds and Borders
Mulch borders with compost or bark clippings to protect against cold and frost.
Cut back summer and autumn perennials that are now finished. Continue lifting and splitting any over-crowded perennial plants.
Dahlias, Cannas, Begonias should be lifted and the corms stored in a cool, dark environment.
Lift tender plants such as Salvia Amistad and Gaura, pot them up and move them to the greenhouse where they can continue flowering a little longer.
Remove any unwanted plants and perennial weeds. Dig over the soil whilst it is still warm and malleable, ready for new spring planting.
Trees and Shrubs
Prune shrub roses to about one third to promote healthy new growth in spring and to guard against wind rock. Make each cut just above a bud on an angle in the direction of the bud so that rain can run off.
Remove any fallen leaves from around the base of any rose that suffered with rust or black spot to help reduce the chance of the disease spreading.
Mulch with homemade compost.
Plant new trees or shrubs.
Move citrus trees indoors or protect with Horticultural fleece.
Pots and Containers
Protect pots and container plants from frost by wrapping them in Horticultural fleece, hessian or bubble wrap.
Pots should also be lifted off the ground on pot feet or bricks to help prevent water logging or frost damage.
Plant up a pot with heather, cyclamen, skimmia, hellebores and Ivy for a colourful winter display.
There is still time to aerate the lawn if you haven’t already done so. Find further help and advice about lawn maintenance in my Autumn Lawn Maintenance blog.
Edge the lawn while the beds and borders are plant free. It is easier now to see where the edge should be and regain a sharp, clean line.
Set the mower to winter height and continue to mow if necessary and to mulch fallen leaves.
Lay new turf if necessary. Whether laying a new lawn or repairing damaged patches, now is the ideal time to do so.
Continue to clean outbuildings and deep clean, disinfect greenhouses and carry out any maintenance necessary to keep them weather proof. If you are using the greenhouse through the winter for tender plants or for sowing seeds then frost proof it with bubble wrap and use a greenhouse house heater. Read my review Best Small Greenhouse Heaters.
In autumn and winter footpaths, paving and patio areas can become slippery no go areas. Continue weeding to keep paths, driveways and patios clear. Then treat with Sika mould Buster to clear black or white fungus spots, moss and mould, keeping your paving safe and clean.
Clear leaves and use in composting or for leaf mulch.
Treat timber, fences, sheds summer houses.
Clean pots and containers that you are not going to be using over winter. Pick a nice sunny day to do so and leave them out in the sun to dry before putting into storage.
Clean hand tools and power tools, carry out any repairs and general maintenance that they may require. Top up oil, sharpen and clean the blades. Ensure that they are all in good, safe working order and store them securely.
Move citrus trees indoors.
Vegetables and Fruit
Winter prune apple and pear trees anytime from now to February.
Split rhubarb plants.
Cut back cane fruits such as raspberries, Tay series, loganberries and blackberries to ground level.
Harvest any remaining root vegetable crops such as carrots, turnips, beetroot and potatoes.
Harvest pumpkins and squash, leave them out in the sun for their skins to gardens then store.
Net brassicas to protect them from damage from pigeons.
Weed any unused parts of the veg garden, mulch with compost, leaf mulch or cover with weed retention fabric to help keep weeds down over winter. This also helps to warm the ground in spring, ready for early planting.
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What should I plant in November?
Veg seeds to sow now include:
- Broad beans, either in the ground or in pots
- Salad leaves
- Hardy varieties of spring onions
- Early peas
- Pak Choi
Also, plant out strawberry runners and new
Flower seeds to sow now include:
- Sweet peas, either in pots in a cold frame or a cool greenhouse
all can be sown now in the greenhouse, on a sunny windowsill or use an electric propagator.
Plant hellebores now for a late December/early new year display.
Collect seeds of your favourite flowering summer plants.
Order bare root fruit bushes, roses and shrubs.
Take hardwood cuttings of plants such as cornus, buddleia, choisya, abelia and rose and most deciduous shrubs.
Climbers such as honeysuckle, vines and jasmine can also be propagated by hardwood cuttings.
So too can some evergreens like holly and cotoneaster.
I thank you for reading this article and I hope it helps you to know what Jobs to do in the garden in November. If you found it useful then please do share with friends and family and social media.
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