Our top 10 gardening tips for November
The evenings are getting longer and it’s getting colder. It can only mean one thing. To quote Ned Stark from Game of Thrones, ‘Winter is coming.’
Although there are likely to be a few stunning days here and there, you can definitely tell winter is around the corner. November can be a soggy, frosty, and unforgiving month.
Specifically, according to both astronomical and meteorological definitions, winter begins in December.
It's advisable to get moving on the work before the true winter weather arrives so that you don't fall behind in the spring. Although many people think the gardening season is ending at this point, it actually just started. When spring arrives, work completed now will save a significant amount of time and effort.
So, keep yourself warm by making sure your garden, tools, and plans are all in order!
To help get you started, we’ve pulled together our top 10 gardening tips for November.
Scroll down to find each tip, or click the links below to be taken directly there:
- Clear up fallen leaves
- Consider spring flowering bulbs
- Finish digging over borders
- Protect your potted plants from the cold
- Order seeds early
- Clean out bird houses
- Plant tulips
- Prevent diseases
- Sharpen your lawn mower
- Protect tender and newly planted trees and shrubs
1. Clear up fallen leaves
We know, we know. You’re sick of hearing about leaves. You’ve heard nothing but how you have to clear them up since late September.
The thing is, doing so is very important. So we’re giving you one final reminder!
Clear the areas where leaves have fallen. Wet leaves on pathways and lawns are a serious safety hazard for you and your family.
There are more benefits to cleaning up your garden’s leaves. Namely, fallen leaves will eventually decompose into leafmould, which is an excellent soil conditioner.
If you don't have enough leaves to make a substantial pile, either put them in the compost or pack them into a plastic bag that has been punctured with holes.
If you opt for the latter, keep in mind that the leaves need to be moist in order to decompose, so either bag them on a rainy day or add some water.
2. Consider spring flowering bulbs
If you're wondering what to do with your garden in November, think about planting spring flowering bulbs.
Bulbs are a great way to fill a garden with colour. You can either plant them directly into the ground or into containers on your balcony or patio.
We’d personally recommend allium bulbs.
Alliums are bulbous perennials that bloom for weeks on end, bridging the transition between spring and summer. They have an incredibly long lifespan, producing stunning pompom flowers in pink, purple, and white that look great when planted in masses.
Allium bulbs should be planted between mid-September and mid-November. However, if you run a little behind schedule, it's okay to finish as late as the middle of December. Due to their good subsurface insulation, these bulbs are less vulnerable to temperature variations than most plants.
When you’re getting your alliums ready, make sure to:
- Plant them in groups of three or more.
- Plant them in a sunny position.
- Plant them at least 10cm deep with the top of each bulb facing upwards.
If all goes well, you should have a stunning display ready for around May or June!
3. Finish digging over borders
In your borders, you may have several layers of undigested organic matter, all mixed up with soil.
It is important to deal with these layers before they start to turn into a crumbly mess and choke the life out of your plants!
You need to dig over your soil. For new horticulturalists, this refers to the process of preparing the ground by digging the soil to remove stones, lumps, and other unwanted matter.
Before you start digging over the border, make sure that it’s not too wet or muddy. If it is, leave it for another day until the ground has dried out more.
It’s also a good idea to go back along the path between each border and remove any weeds or grass growing there – this will prevent them from returning when you eventually sow seeds and plant new plants next year.
If you don’t have the tools needed, check out our forks, spades, and edging tools.
4. Protect your potted plants from the cold
With the weather getting colder, you need to look after your potted plants.
Containers can be placed in groups for protection – like penguins gathering together to maintain warmth.
If the weather turns bad and you don't feel like being outside, bring the beauty of your garden inside. Winter is the time of year when many plants bloom, from tiny flowers like violas to fragrant bushes like viburnums.
Older clay pots might not be frost-proof, so even if they are empty, cover them up or bring them inside if it starts to get chilly. Modern plastic or terracotta containers are typically frost-proof.
Large pots that can't be brought inside should be insulated. Plants grown outside in containers are more vulnerable to frost damage than plants growing in the open ground, thus they require some shelter from heavy frosts. Wrap the pots firmly in bubble poly or hessian sacking to insulate them.
If you’d like to upgrade your patio display, make sure to check out our range of pots.
5. Order seeds early
The majority of plants go into dormancy during November, and all plant growth stops for the season.
Take the extra time this affords to plan for the coming spring.
Looking through seed catalogues is not just a pleasant pastime for a gloomy autumn day when the weather makes it impossible to perform any work outside.
You are less likely to be dissatisfied if you place your seed order early because seed suppliers frequently sell out of popular seed lines very rapidly.
6. Clean out bird houses
Getting rid of old nesting materials from bird boxes will encourage birds to use them again the following year.
Because birds will soon be searching for winter roosts, do this as soon as you can.
They are more likely to choose a box as a nesting location if they are already familiar with it by spring.
If you don’t have one already, make sure to check out our range of bird houses.
7. Plant tulips
The customary month for planting tulips is November. This is because there’s a lower chance that they contract the fungus tulip fire, which causes plants to rot and not develop properly.
They should be spaced 10 to 20 cm apart and planted three times or deeper than they are, as shallow planting frequently results in plants that do not bloom the following year.
8. Prevent diseases
Picking over your plants once a week to remove any dead leaves or blossoms is therapeutic for both you and your plants. After a long day, doing this kind of work can be incredibly calming.
Fungal diseases are the leading cause of greenhouse plant mortality during the wet winter, so by removing the dead material as soon as possible, you'll be halting them in their tracks.
Additionally, it is beneficial to sweep the floor to gather any plant debris that has fallen to the ground.
9. Sharpen your lawn mower
Send your lawnmower off to be serviced and sharpened. If machines are properly maintained, they perform much better overall.
Due to the rush that results from customers waiting until the last minute to have their lawn mowers serviced in the spring, service agents are relatively calm at this time of year.
To keep the lawn looking tidy during the winter, don't forget to give it a light trim every now and then.
Simply remove the tops - although avoid doing so if the grass is frozen or wet.
10. Protect tender and newly planted trees and shrubs
Trees and plants that are young and delicate should be protected against frost and chilly winds. Bitter winds cause damage to foliage by drying it, and high gusts at periods of extreme cold can injure plants more than a heavy frost would alone.
Utilize a windbreak consisting of posts and netting.
Evergreen bushes and hedging plants need to be protected more from wind than deciduous ones since they are more vulnerable to wind damage.
Smaller shrubs and recently planted ones can be shielded from the cold by wrapping them in straw or bracken and securing it with netting.
Polythene can also be used as a temporary covering, but it must not come in contact with the leaves of evergreen plants since any moisture that condenses on it will freeze and harm the leaves. Nail the polythene to a cane structure or to wooden battens to support it.
We hope you enjoy all of these gardening tips and are able to use them in your own garden.
If you want to receive these directly in your email, don't forget to share this story on social media and sign up for our newsletter.
We hope that you have everything you require to perform at the highest level as a gardener.