November in the garden: the essential tasks

As the last flourish of colour leaves the garden, there are plenty of gardening jobs to do this month. Here are our top gardening tips for November to help you prepare for winter.

November’s wet and often frosty days signal the transition from autumn to winter. Any last bursts of fiery colour will disappear and it’s time to begin preparing your plants for the harsher conditions ahead. If you’re not sure which gardening jobs to do in November, we’ve put together a list of gardening tasks for you.

Protect against frost

Temperatures are likely to dip into single figures in November, meaning there’s a good chance you’ll soon be waking up to a frosty garden. If you haven’t already, lift begonias, dahlia tubers and other flowers like gladioli and bring them into a dry storage area for winter.

Pots and other outdoor containers should be insulated using hessian or even bubble wrap to protect them against frost. You can do the same in the greenhouse to stop it getting too cold – just place bubble wrap along the inside of the frame. It’s also worth considering building a cold frame if you’ve got young plants in your beds that can’t be moved inside.

Finish preparing for winter

There’s plenty to do this month to prepare your garden for its quietest season. Get rid of leaves that have fallen from infected plants, such as rose bushes that suffered blackspot, to reduce the likelihood of the disease coming back.

You should regularly rake other fallen leaves off the lawn to keep it looking its best. Our top November gardening tip? If you want to make leafmould to put into your soil, now is the best time to begin. Shredding your leaves will help them rot down even quicker, meaning your leafmould could be ready in around a year.

November is also your last chance to finish any overdue jobs, like raising pots to prevent them getting waterlogged, painting fences, trimming hedges, cleaning water butts and installing lawn edging. If you’ve got time, it’s also wise to aerate your lawn (you can use a garden fork to do this) and give the ground a final watering before it freezes.

Plant spring colour now

There are plenty of flowers to plant in November. Whether you’re growing hardier flowers like tulips, bare-root roses and daffodils, or prefer delicate varieties that need to be started in the greenhouse, now’s the time to plant spring flowers. Sweet peas, foxglove and lupin can be sown inside in preparation for next year, while pansies, violas, heather and primulas can go straight into beds.

If you’re wondering which fruits and vegetables to plant in November, you can plant strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants and blueberries at this time of year. Pear and apple trees should be ready to prune, but you’ve got until February to tackle this job. And if you’ve already got a healthy vegetable patch, it’s time to harvest parsnips and make sure heavy brussel sprouts and brassicas are properly supported with stakes.

Look after winter garden residents

As the ground freezes and plants die back, birds will find it harder to get to precious food sources. If you want to make sure they still pay you a visit, keep your feeders well stocked with seeds and fat balls. It’s also a good time to place nets over your pond to keep it clear of leaves over the winter and get rid of overground pond weed.

Next month, we’ll be sharing our top gardening tips for December – keep your eyes peeled for more.

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