November marks the last chance to really get to grips with your garden before the cold weather sets in. There is no point trying to dig your ground when it is frozen, so if you haven’t done so already, what are you waiting for? November is the month when all the leaves start to fall from the trees, this is the time to maximise readily for next year.
Collect these leaves and turn them into one of the best mulches that money can’t buy. Leaf mould is great for improving the quality of your soil, it can also be used in your potting mix, or used as seed compost. You really shouldn’t miss out on one of the last harvests of the year. Yes! It really is a harvest. You cannot buy leaf mould in the shops, so get out collect some leaves and make the most of this free and natural resource.
Although many gardeners think that September marks the end of the growing season, there is still plenty of work to do in order to fully maximise your garden for the coming year. Take a look below, this is just some of the jobs you could be doing right now.
10 Jobs you can do now
- Lift and store Gladioli / Dahlia’s
- Make a Bulb Lasagne
- Give roses an Autumn prune
- Cut down annuals such as Calendula
- Remove debris from the crowns of alpines
- Plant bare-root roses and trees
- Plant most bulbs for a spring show
- Remove and store plant supports
- Take root cuttings of oriental poppies
- Stay on top of annual weeds
Lift and store Gladioli / Dahlia’s
This month is your last chance to store Gladioli and Dahlia’s. Lift the tubers and turn them upside down on a bench until they dry out. Store them in slightly damp sand or compost. to prevent them shrivelling
Make a Bulb Lasagne
It’s a perfect time to make a bulb lasagne. This is simply layering different spring bulbs in a planting container, This will give you colour right through spring as they all germinate at different times.
Give roses an Autumn prune
Roses can be pruned now. When pruning cut to an outward-facing bud and no more than 5mm from the bud. All cuts should be clean, and any dieback should be pruned to the white pith.
Cut down annuals such as Calendula
Clearing away annuals now will prepare the space for new one’s next year. Cut them to the ground leaving the root system. These can be composted. As these plants live their entire life in one year, it is worth feeding the soil with some manure or compost.
Remove debris from the crowns of alpines
This is a small task, but removing any debris leaves and other matter from alpine crowns is an important task. If you forget to do this, the debris will omit light and hold moisture. Firstly turning the plant yellow and eventually killing it.
Plant bare-root roses and trees
From now until February is the perfect time in which to plant bare-root roses and trees. Simply dig a square hole spread out the roots and backfill. Doing this now will allow the roses to establish their root system over winter. Below is a video that shows this process in more detail.
Plant most bulbs for a spring show
You still have time to get those spring bulbs into the ground. That is providing it is not frozen. You may be lucky enough to pick up some bargains too at the garden centres. As they usually sell off the last of their stocks cheaply
Remove and store plant supports
It is time to pull down all your bean canes and hazel stick now that was used for supports for your climbing plants. It is good practice to dry them out and treat the first foot or two that was in the ground all summer. This will prolong your canes.
Take root cuttings of oriental poppies
These plants look stunning in your borders, It is time to lift a large clump or scrape the soil away from around the roots and take cuttings. Once you have a good area exposed, take a sharp knife and cut off sections of good quality roots. Next cut these into lengths of around 2.5cm and place these into a pot of compost thick end up. Cover with gravel and wait for them to shoot. Then pot on as normal.
Stay on top of annual weeds
Although it’s turning colder, Annual weeds will still be growing. Stay on top of them by using the hoe if they pop their heads through. Dealing with them now will make life much easier come spring.
More jobs you can do now
- Plant lily bulbs
- Sow sweet peas
- Trim topiary before winter
- Clean and oil your mower and other tools (remove any fuel)
- Collect leaves to make leafmould
- Check your clay pots for cracks, group the pots together and raise up off the ground
- Mulch your borders/beds
- Save runner bean seed
- Sow Rocket and other leafy vegetables for winter use
- Plant garlic cloves
- Plant autumn onions
- Check any stored apples
- Dig empty patches of soil and add manure
- Plant summer fruiting raspberries
- Prepare soil for planting bare-rooted fruit trees
- Lift and pot up chives and mint to grow indoors through winter
- Prune apple and pear trees
- Clear away all outdoor tomato plants and debris
- Remove weeds from potted fruit trees
- Start a new compost heap
- Collect seaweed from your local beach (get permission first)
- Net brassicas to stop pigeon damage
- Sow hardy broad beans
- Take hardwood fruit cuttings
- Move tender plants inside
- Wash the glasshouse/polytunnel with Jays Fluid
- Insulate your greenhouse with bubble wrap
- Prune grapevines
- Clean your pots and seed trays
- Start to put out feed for birds
- Remove algae from paths and paved areas
- Clear dead and yellowing foliage
- Check tree ties are secure
- Give your lawn its last mow
- Cut off unwanted suckers at the base of grafted trees
- Make a pile of leaves & twigs for hedgehogs to hibernate in
Just because it’s November, there is still plenty to be getting on with. Do these things now and you will be set ready for the spring.
If you have enjoyed this article, check out some of my other articles and come back each month for the jobs for that month. If you got value please consider subscribing to my blog to be notified each time I release new content like this. You can do that easily and free by completing the blog signup form in the right-hand sidebar