Maintenance, protection and preparation are the key tasks to consider in your garden during November. There’s quite a lot to do, so take every opportunity you can to get out into the garden. Warning – you may get a bit damp!
Keep raking those leaves, and cutting back yellowing foliage on herbaceous perennials. Check your guttering and water butts are clear of fallen debris too – you want to collect as much rainwater as possible, so ensuring the water can actually get to the butts is a great start!
Start pruning pear and apple trees, and edge your lawn. It’s amazing how much tidier the garden looks when edges have been cut back in! Prune those roses, particularly getting rid of any dead wood. You can take them down to a third of their size – this will help them stay fast in the ground during winter winds. If there’s any diseased leaves, don’t add them to your compost heap as the disease will then be spread with the compost it makes.
Make the most of any dry days to get wood sealants or treatments on fences, decking and structures. Repair and make good as you move around the garden, including your tools. Run the hedge trimmers over your evergreen hedges one final time, ready for winter.
Dig up any unwanted roots and plants, and remove annuals that have finished. Cut back any berry canes, right down to the soil. This will encourage healthy growth next year.
Divide those perennials that flower before midsummer and replant straight away. Get the last of the bulbs into the ground, ready for next year. Treat your soil by turning over the soil and adding well-rotted manure, and protect plants with compost that are need it. Lift dahlias, begonias and gladioli to store for the winter or lay a deep layer of compost on top if you aren’t bringing them in.
Rake those leaves! If you’re composting them, pile them on the lawn and run a rotary lawn mower over the leaves to shred them. This breaks the leaves down and forces oxygen into the mix, which speeds up the composting process.
Secure climbers, their thin tendrils can be battered in the late autumn weather. Make sure all ties are still working efficiently, aren’t too tight and are in the right position.
Move any pots that you do not want to be damaged to a sheltered position. Raise them on feet or bricks so they have good drainage and don’t freeze to the ground.
Harvest the last of your crops before they’re damaged by the frost. Except for parsnips – wait until after the first frost for a sweeter parsnip. And keep deadheading plants that are still flowering to encourage them to last longer.
If it’s not been a particularly wet October and into November, give the garden and pots a water before a serious frost hits – but only if it’s been particularly dry.
Don’t forget the wildlife! Keep bird baths and feeders supplied to attract birds to your garden – they are great pest controllers. Oh, did we mention, keep raking those leaves!!