November in the garden
There are still a few jobs to be done before you put your garden to bed for the season. Wrap up and get outside to enjoy a bit of exercise and the crisp autumn air.
Here’s a summary, but scroll down if you want more information on any of these jobs!
In the Vegetable Plot
- Check stored fruit and veg
- Tidy strawberry plants
- Harvest parsnips
- Keep your eye on weeds!
In the Flower Bed
- Cut back perennials
- Lift Dahlia tubers
- Plant trees and shrubs
Around the Garden
- Frost protection
- Cover compost heap
- Service lawn mower
- Keep bird feeders topped up
In the vegetable plot…
Check stored fruit and veg
Not strictly in your vegetable plot, but check on any stored fruit and potatoes and remove any that are starting to rot so that they don’t affect the others.
Tidy strawberry plants
Tidy up strawberry plants by removing dead leaves and any runners.
Harvest parsnips after the first frost when they will be sweeter.
Keep an eye on weeds
If we are experiencing mild weather, keep your eye on those annual weeds!
In the flower beds…
Cut back perennials
If you like to keep your beds looking neat and tidy, then you may wish to cut back perennials that have finished flowering. However, some have beautiful winter skeletons and seed heads that can add interest to your beds.
Lift Dahlia tubers to store over the winter months. Cut stems down to the ground after the first frosts have blackened the leaves. If you live in a mild region, or have well drained soil, they can be left in the ground and covered with a deep layer of mulch. If not, use a fork to carefully lift the tubers from the ground. Rinse off any remaining soil and leave them upside down somewhere cool to dry. Then trim off any fine roots, put them in a shallow container of peat-free compost with just their crowns showing. Store somewhere dry, cool and frost free.
Plant trees and shrubs
Plant trees and shrubs now, whilst the soil is still quite warm, to allow them to settle before spring.
Around the garden…
If you grow exotic plants outside, such as tree ferns and palms, you will need to protect them from frost by wrapping their trunks and crowns in bubble wrap and hessian, or horticultural fleece.
Cover your compost heap
If you have a compost heap, place a bit of old carpet or cardboard over the top to help it maintain suitable temperatures for rotting down what’s inside.
Service your lawn mower
It should be the right time to retire your lawn mower for the winter, so spend a little time getting it cleaned up. Remove any mud and grass from the blades and underside with a stiff brush and give it a wash with soapy water.
Keep bird feeders topped up
Make sure you keep bird feeders and bird baths topped up and free from ice (do not use anti-freeze or other chemicals).