It’s now getting a lot colder and there’s less daylight hours. But don’t put your garden to bed for the winter just yet! You can still pot up some colourful winter containers, start planning next year’s garden and of course, don’t forget to feed your garden birds!
There’s still some colour to be found among leaves and berries. Winter-flowering shrubs such as Mahonia media hybrids, winter Honeysuckle and Viburnum Bodnantense will bring gorgeous fragrance to the short days.
Try and spend a little time tidying up your borders – you’ll be pleased you did when spring comes round. This is a good time of year to plant shrubs. Our J. Arthur Bower’s Rose, Tree & Shrub Compost will give them a boost with its added magnesium for greener leaves and bonemeal to encourage strong root growth. It feeds for up to 12 weeks - perfect for through the winter.
Essential checklist for November
- Clear leaves and compost them
- Plant shrubs, evergreens and conifers
- Sow peas and broad beans
- Protect tender plants from frost
- Put out bird feed
- Autumn lawn care – aerate and feed
- Plant spring flowering bulbs
- Plant garlic
Clear leaves and compost them
Leafmould is worth its weight in gold, so it’s well worth collecting up leaves to make your own. Contain the leaves in a simple open frame made of chicken wire, or pack them into black binbags. Sprinkle with Garotta, moisten the leaves and tie them up. Leave the bags for a couple of days before piercing all over with a garden fork. Then move out of the way to a shady place and leave for a year by which time the leaves should have rotted down to a rich dark pleasant-smelling mixture. This can be used as a mulch or dug in as a soil improver – especially useful for woodland plants.
Plant shrubs, evergreens and conifers
Continue to plant evergreens and conifers at the beginning of the month, while the soil is moist and still retains some warmth. Do remember to water well if the weather is dry – new plants still need moisture at their roots even in winter.
November is a good time of year to plant new hedges. You’ll see bundles of bare-rooted hedging plants in garden centres now. Prepare your site well, digging in lots of organic matter such as homemade compost, or try Gro-Sure Farmyard Manure before you plant.
Protect tender plants from frost
Protect tender plants such as Phormiums, tree ferns and Cordylines in case frost should strike. It may be easiest to move large containers into a sheltered corner and cover them altogether with horticultural fleece rather than covering each plant individually.
Autumn lawn care
There is still time to aerate and feed your lawn before the weather turns cold.
- Sweep up leaves
- Adjust settings on your mower
- Treat moss and weeds
- Feed and condition
- Carry out repairs
Find out what you can do to prepare your lawn for winter here.
Plant spring flowering bulbs
You can still plant Tulips in November. Sow Sweet Peas now in a greenhouse for an early display next year.
Feed the birds
Shorter daylight hours mean that wild birds have less time to forage. Save them a wasted journey by making sure your feeders are topped up daily with a good quality all round bird food. Remember, once you start feeding the birds they will come to rely on you, so make sure you’re consistent!
TOP TIP – Peckish Complete All Seasons Seed Mix is a great option for garden birds and can be used all year round.
Sow peas and broad beans
Broads beans and peas can still be sown for an early crop, but make sure you protect the seeds with cloches otherwise they may end up as a meal for hungry mice. Read more on how to grow broad beans here. They are one of the easiest vegetables to grow!
Finish planting garlic if you haven’t already. Pick a cold day in November – they need the cold period to develop clusters that turn into bulbs next summer. Read how to grow garlic guide here for more info.
Any vegetables still left to harvest from the plot including Savoy cabbage, Leeks, Parsnips and Celery should be taken up, when gathering Brussel Sprouts remember to only pick the ripest specimens and not too many from one plant at one time. At the same time remove any yellowing leaves and spot check and remove all pests such as caterpillars.
Parsnips seem to be that much sweeter after a frost has got to them but in the vent of severe frosts later in winter it may be an idea to lift a few parsnips and lightly cover with soil to make them easier to lift when the ground is frozen solid. The leeks should be ready to pull during the early part of next year.