11: What to do in the garden in November

November can be typically damp and windy but occasionally mild with a fair few day of autumnal sunshine. 

Take full advantage of any bright, sunny days now so you can get ahead with preparing for winter. This is the month to plant your tulip bulbs for flowering in spring.

If you’re busy cutting back and tidying borders this month. Add your waste material from the garden to your compost heap or bin. You could also use the collected leaves to make leaf mould; place in a reusable bin bag with a few puncture holes and leave to decompose for up to 2 years.

Use this month as an opportunity to plant bare-root trees, Shrubs and Roses. Clean or repurpose any pots, trays or toughs you don’t plan on using to help with the organising of the shed, in preparation for the busy spring months that are just around the corner. 

Most of all, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the autumn colours and foliage at the moment as it can be truly spectacular!

Ornamental Garden:

  • Part prune roses to prevent wind rock.
  • Continue to tidy borders if weather permits.
  • Final cut for lawns if no frosts.
  • Rake and remove fallen leaves.
  • Cutback spent foliage and flowers of Herbaceous perennials.
  • Leave the seed heads of grasses like Miscanthus to provide winter structure.
  • Continue to lay turf for new lawns – avoid frosty days if possible.
  • Remove surplus dead leaves from ponds.
  • Complete planting of bulbs.
  • Mulch borders – especially borderline hardy perennials.
  • Plant bare root shrubs and roses.
  • Plant amaryllis or paper-white daffodil bulbs for blooms in time for Christmas.
  • Plant winter flowering shrubs like Daphne and Sarcococca.
  • Take hard wood cuttings of roses and other deciduous shrubs.
  • Scarify lawns.
  • Keep off lawns in wet and frosty weather.

Vegetable Garden:

  • Begin winter pruning of fruit trees.
  • Plant fruit trees, soft fruit and cane fruit.
  • Plant garlic cloves.
  • Apply grease bands around trunks of fruit trees to protect from winter months.
  • Apply a good layer of compost or manure to bare areas of ground.
  • Protect salad plants under cloches or fleece.
  • Clear spent old plants.

Always check for hibernating creatures before starting any bonfires!