Falling leaves, the temperature is dipping and the rain has started to fall so winter is definitely on its way. As the nights and darker days draw in, there are still several jobs that can be done in the garden this month so it can provide enjoyment both now and into the new year.
It is also a good time to take advantage of any sunny, crisp spells to start planning next year’s garden plants and how you can bring your outdoor space to life. We have put together a guide on the important November jobs in the garden.
Planning your garden for next year
There is still time to plant for next year to ensure your garden is a kaleidoscope of colour and a feast for the senses. This time of year is nature’s time to plant whilst the soil is moist and ripe for activity.
Winter bedding plants will add a pop of colour as the rest of the garden winds down. Late bloomers such as pansies ,bellis, polyanthus and violas are easy to grow and would look great in one of our containers with winter foliage.
November is the month to plant tulips. Planting flower bulbs at this time reduces the risk of the bulbs being affected by viruses and allows them to establish before frosts hit. Get ahead for the new season by sowing sweet peas now and store in a porch, cold frame or unheated greenhouse until spring.
Fruit trees such as apple and pear can be planted in the garden in November, as can fruit bushes. When they arrive, plant bare root, simply soak the roots in a bucket of water for about thirty minutes, before planting in the ground or container.
Ornamental trees, fruit plants such as redcurrants and gooseberries, hardy annuals, flowering shrubs and hedges can also be planted now to get their root balls established and start their journey for the new season.
For those of you that have a vegetable patch, produce such as spring onions, winter greens, radishes, spinach, broad beans, brussels sprouts, jerusalem artichokes and first peas can still be sown now, as well as onion, shallots and garlic which will overwinter, providing an aromatic and tasty start to your garden come spring. We have a informative blog on how to make your propagator that can help you get a head start.
Protect your sensitive plants
As the weather turns colder, it is important to protect sensitive plants and protect them from the frosts, as well as prevent wind damage. Move containers into a sheltered position and group them in a cluster together, placing the most cold-sensitive plants in the centre so they receive additional protection from the hardier plants. This will also help to protect from pests and diseases.
Horticultural fleece jackets are the ideal protection to protect your plants from frosts and pests in the garden and can be reused every year. November can also be a notoriously wet month so it’s advisable to raise containers off the ground with pot feet to avoid waterlogging.
Now is the time for some simple Autumn lawn care tasks such as aerating, seeding and feeding to ensure you have a lush green oasis come Spring.
An important task in November is to rake fallen leaves from your garden as they fall from the trees to prevent them rotting down and suffocating your lawn. The leaves are worth their weight in gold and can be turned into leaf mould or organic matter which can be an important soil improver, simply add to the compost heap and to provide a source of nutrition for your plants.
Your existing garden trees and shrubs could also do with some TLC at this time so tidy existing borders, cut down herbaceous stems and clear remains of annual plants that have died down. This month is also the ideal time to lift dahlia before the frosts arrive. We recommend lifting the tubers now, store them over winter, then replant the following spring.
This is also a great time of year to clear your greenhouse or tool shed, oil, clean and sharpen your essential garden tools, so they are in top shape for next season.
Garden birds will need your help during the winter, and you can do this by providing food in bird feeders and offering shelter during the colder months. Bird seed and food that contains suet, nuts, sunflower hearts will provide them with energy and the vital nutrients that they need to survive the colder months.
An accessible water source in your garden is essential for birds too, so ensure water trays and baths are replenished with fresh water every day for both drinking and bathing.
Is this the year that you invest in solar lights, fire pits to extend the days spent in your garden with your loved ones? Creating a winter wonderland couldn’t be easier and creating light in your outdoor space will brighten up even the darkest of days.
The simple addition of adding a firepit and lighting provides a garden that can be used all year round. Whether it is our Wakehurst Outdoor Wood Burning Fireplace as a focal point or a smaller firepit such as our Hoole Cast Iron Fire Pit on your patio or on your balcony, create a warm and inviting exterior space just a stone’s throw away from your back door.