It’s not time to hang up your secateurs and hibernate for the winter just yet. It’s getting colder, wetter and windier outside but there are still some important things to do in the garden in November.
You’re probably not going to be as busy as you were between June and September, but there’s still some sowing and growing to be done as well as plenty of tasks to keep your garden ticking over through the winter months.
It’s also a great time to prepare for spring, and you can find out about the first flowers of spring and what spring vegetables to plant in the garden here.
In the meantime, here are some of the gardening jobs to do in November in the UK.
General Garden Maintenance
The 5th of November is bonfire night in the UK, and it’s great to be in the garden with hot tomato soup, fireworks and bonfires. Before you light your fire, please check to make sure there are no hedgehogs or other small animals sheltering inside.
On the subject of wildlife, keep bird baths topped up with water and ensure your feeders are full with fat balls, seeds and nuts – such as hazelnuts, almonds and unsalted peanuts – which are safe for squirrels to eat.
Now that foliage has fallen off your fences and trellises for the winter, go round and inspect them and make any necessary repairs. This is one of the most important jobs for the garden in November.
If you don’t have any indoor space for your garden furniture, put waterproof covers over them to keep them in good condition for when the weather warms up.
Plants, Trees & Flowers
It may be a little early to be preparing for Christmas but if you have holly in your garden, cut a few stems with berries before the birds eat them for some pretty DIY Christmas decorations. However it is a good idea to keep some berries on the plants as they are an important food source for birds during the winter months.
While there’s still a little warmth and moisture left in the soil at the start of the month, you can continue to plant evergreens and conifers. Additionally, one of the most popular gardening jobs for November is to plant new hedges.
It’s not too late to plant tulips and sweet peas for a colourful spring display and keep deadheading flowers to ensure vibrant growth next year. If you want indoor flowers over Christmas, plant paperwhite narcissus and amaryllis around the middle of the month in a well-lit location indoors.
One of the November garden tasks that requires a little pre-planning is to relocate young trees if you think they’re not thriving in their current location. Older trees over five years old don’t transport very well but the younger ones can really benefit.
More generally, cutting back and tidying borders, raking leaves and mulching are gardening jobs to do in November that will stand your garden in good stead over the winter and will ensure you hit the ground running in spring.
In the Fruit & Veg Garden
Just because the winter’s coming it doesn’t mean that sowing stops, and you can plant onions, garlic and shallots this month.
Carrots and parsnips should be ready around the second or third week of the month and check your brussel sprouts, celeriac, beetroot, turnips and leeks as they too may be ready to harvest. With all vegetable harvests, they are largely dependent on the variety, planting time and weather conditions, so please refer to planting guidelines and monitor your veg for signs of readiness.
Where November garden tasks are concerned, protection is the name of the game for your winter salad leaves. Use insect mesh or fleeces and keep a keen eye out for pigeons and slugs who will nibble your leaves given the opportunity.
This month you can also plant fruit trees and cane fruit, but make sure you prune your existing fruit trees properly to give them the best opportunity to thrive next year.