November is certainly a gloomy month, damp, dreary, and bitterly cold. Fading light conditions can make time for the garden almost impossible if you’re busy, it can be a struggle to find your garden ‘mojo’, to get motivated to put the garden to bed for the winter. However, there are planting possibilities for milder areas of the UK to be getting on with, if you can spare some time to drag yourself outside. It’s well worth getting some winter digging underway for heavy soils (avoid digging in constant wet weather), remove weeds and spread manure or organic compost if you can. Being productive now should save time come spring – and your soil will love you for it.
Some jobs for November:
- Make a leaf bin and start collecting fallen leaves to make leaf mould
- Plant garlic
- Prune apple and pear trees
- Prune soft fruit bushes
- Cover frost tender plants at night with horticultural fleece, don’t forget greenhouse plants!
- Get on with winter digging if weather allows (avoid digging very wet soil)
- Plant new bare-root fruit trees, bushes and canes
- Make a note of what your grew and where, include successes and failures – it will help you plan crop rotation for next year
- Continue tidying and harvesting the last crops
- Rhubarb is dormant, now is a good time to propagate established plants or plant new sets
- Autumn sow hardy broad beans (Aquadulce Claudia) and peas (Meteor) for an early crop late spring
- Make or buy bug boxes or ‘hotels’ to help beneficial insects survive the winter
- Check water butts/barrels and drain if necessary
- Remove fallen leaves from the surface of wildlife ponds
- Plant spring bulbs for a splash of colour
- Order seed catalogues
- Don’t forget to bring frost tender potted plants inside before the first frost arrives!