November Gardening Guide

It’s beginning to feel like autumn, the clocks have gone back and a gardener’s thoughts turn to harvesting, raking and planting for spring. But, in case you run short of ideas here are a few tasks to think about doing during this month.

  • Think about installing water butts and collect rainfall from the house, greenhouse or shed. Especially handy for watering acid loving plans (and hair washing – so I am told!)
  • Move tender container plants to sheltered locations near the house or into porches.
  • In warm gardens on a well-drained soil you might want to consider taking a chance by leaving dahlias insitu, protected by a deep mulch.
  • For earlier and stronger sweet peas, sow now in root trainers or deep pots and place in a cold frame or cold greenhouse.
  • Tidy and trim the flower garden removing the remains of the summer bedding.
  • Keep seed heads on perennials for the birds and leave ornamental grasses to give the garden winter structure.
  • For next spring plant containers or open ground with tulips, lilies and wallflowers and any other bulbs or spring flowering bedding.
  • Lift and divide congested clumps of herbaceous perennials adding new varieties to extend the season.
  • Continue to remove leaves and mow lawns not closer than 40 mm.
  • In mild areas trim hedges.
  • This year also being mild, time still exists to prune climbing roses. Tie in new healthy shoots to wires or framework taking out old stems at the base. Prune back side shoots hard in order to maintain shape.
  • Prune back established hybrid tea and floribunda roses to prevent wind rock. Leave final pruning until spring.
  • Plant bare root and containerized roses, fruit and ornamental trees now.
  • Transplant trees and move large shrubs and climbers, mulching after installation.
  • Take hardwood cuttings of a range of shrubs. Willows, dogwoods, blackcurrants are the easiest.
  • Apply grease bands around apples and pears to prevent wingless female moths ascending from the soil to lay their eggs. Leave general pruning till next month.
  • Plant winter onions, garlic, bareroot raspberries and other soft fruit.
  • Divide rhubarb and plant in well-manured positions.
  • To prevent peach leaf curl spray peaches, apricots, nectarines and almonds with Bayer root and vegetable protective fungicide at leaf fall this autumn, and again in mid-February as the buds start to swell.
  • Continue with autumn/winter digging, incorporating well-rotted manure or other well-rotted organic compost.