Gardening tips for November

As leaves fall carpeting the ground in a tapestry of fiery colours, structural evergreen plants start to take centre stage. Deciduous trees and shrubs reveal their glorious stem colours while clusters of berries hang heavy from their branches. On milder days November is a great month for making final preparations as the garden slips into its winter slumber.

Garden Room

  • Pot up Amaryllis bulbs now for flowering over the festive period.
  • Check previously planted prepared Hyacinths or Narcissus Paper White for signs of growth, and once shoots are about one inch tall move into a brighter position to grow on for Christmas flowering.

Terrace Garden

  • November is the last chance to plant winter bedding. Pansies, Violas, Bellis and winter flowering Heathers are all proven garden performers. For a festive look combine Cupressus with ruby red Skimmia, Hellebore niger (Christmas Rose) berried Gaultheria, and trailing Ivy.
  • Use pot-feet to lift containers up off the ground, thereby helping to prevent waterlogging during the winter months.
  • Insulate any prized outdoor containers with hessian or bubble-wrap if they are too large to move to a sheltered frost-free position.

Beds and Borders

  • Plant drifts of Wallflowers, under-planting with Tulips for a colourful spring display.
  • Tulips benefit from November planting, when the cooler temperatures help to prevent disease.
  • Cut back Summer-flowering shrubs such as Buddleia and Lavatera by half now to prevent damage by wind rock.
  • Give evergreen hedges their final trim for a neat, crisp finish to last the winter.
  • Plant new hedges, such as Beech, Hawthorn and Privet. Bare-root whips, ordered on line or in store, are the most economical way to create or rejuvenate a hedge. Planted now, they will establish in time for the spring season.
  • Plant Ornamental Trees to add height and structure to your garden. See our website for details of our widest ever range of British Grown trees available in store, or for direct delivery from the nursery to your home.

Cottage Garden

  • Lift and store tender Dahlias and Cannas touched by the first frosts.
  • Continue to cut back and tidy faded cottage garden perennials, adding them to the compost heap. Leave grasses and seed heads for their architectural interest, but also to feed winter birds and shelter overwintering insects.
  • Use this opportunity to split and divide overgrown or congested clumps, invigorating new growth for next spring and summer.
  • Prune Roses back by about one third to prevent winter wind rock, following with a further prune in February / March.
  • November is great time to plant new Roses. Visit your local store for our widest ever range, including David Austin English roses for unbeatable garden performance.
  • Apply mulch around more tender herbaceous perennials, such as Agapanthus with garden compost or bracken. This will also help to keep weeds down next spring.

Fruit Garden

  • Harvest the last of the Apples and Pears and store in a cool airy shed on slatted benching for good air circulation. Make sure they are not touching to prevent any spread of disease.
  • Our widest range of British grown Fruit Trees are available for planting now, including Apples and Pears, Plums and Cherries. See our website for details of our British grown trees available in store or for delivery direct from the nursery to your home.
  • New season ranges of soft fruit, including a wide range of Raspberry canes are available for planting now. 
  • Apple and Pear trees can be pruned anytime from now until February, but leave the pruning of Plums until mid summer.

Kitchen Garden

  • Dig over vacant ground, top dressing with a layer of mulch for worms to work into the soil during the winter.
  • If storing vegetables make sure that they are well spaced and dry, removing any that are showing signs of mould or rot.
  • Leeks and parsnips may be left in the ground until required for use.
  • Clean the greenhouse thoroughly to allow in plenty of winter sunlight, washing pots and trays ready for next spring.

Lawn Care

  • Clear fallen leaves to prevent them smothering and eventually killing off your grass. Add to the compost heap, or store in a separate pen for rotting down into leaf--mould. Shredding the leaves first with a mower will help them to rot down quicker.
  • Scarify established lawns to remove dead thatch, which can stifle growth in the winter months. Spike the surface with a fork or lawn aerator to help with drainage.

Garden Tidy

  • Clean, oil and sharpen garden tools, and book the lawn mower in for a service.
  • Cover garden furniture with winter covers to protect from heavy rain.
  • Clear fallen leaves from the garden pond.
  • For the benefit of garden wildlife, leave some areas of the garden untouched as a winter sanctuary for insects and hibernating hedgehogs. 

Garden Birds

  • One of the joys of winter is watching our colourful garden birds, so reliant on the food and fresh water we put out to sustain them through the winter months.
  • Position feeders as close to the house as possible, using a variety of seeds and peckers to attract a wide range of birds to your garden. Once they find you, they will become daily visitors, sheltering from the worst of the weather in your trees, shrubs and hedges.
  • Put up nest boxes to entice them to stay in the new spring season.

Plants at their best

Thuja 'Rheingold'
Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'
Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'
Viburnum tinus and varieties
Pampas Grass
Winter Jasmine
Mahonia (early flowering varieties)
Spotted Laurel (Aucuba japonica)

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