November Garden Jobs Part 2
November Garden Jobs – My last post about garden jobs November was much more of a list of suggestions of what to do with your cuttings. This time, I’m getting down to the mucky business of real gardening.
I love lists and have signed up to various helpful email prompts such as those from www.Crocus.co.uk. By my bed is the trusty old RHS Gardening Through the Year, a quick flick through that and the other gardening companions, reminds me of all the things that need to be done now that the phone’s calmed down and the garden furniture sales are a distant summer memory.
November Garden Jobs – The weather has been very wet but in those brief sunny interludes, there’s still time to get the garden tidied up for the winter. Here are our 16 November garden jobs to do:
- Before you attend to the plants, look after your investments! Your rattan patio furniture will be fine whatever the weather throws at it, but you will need to store any fabric cushions away somewhere dry. If your rattan garden table has a glass top, you can store that too. The garden table will be fine on the patio all winter; if you think the chairs might get blown around the garden if we have gales, then store those out of the wind too.
- Wildlife: it’s a good time to clear out bird boxes and start to feed the birds if you are not regularly doing this already. Birds will soon be looking for winter roots and if they are familiar with a nesting box, they are much more likely to use it in the spring. Take time to clear any dead leaves from bird baths. If you don’t have bird boxes, it’s a good time to invest in some – wrigglywigglers.co.uk have a great selection from those for wrens and robins to something suitable for a barn owl.
- Borders: recent frosts have blackened the stems of my dahlias which acts as a prompt to tidy up the borders by clearing away old stems and dead foliage. Cut back summer sprawling plants like mallow, reducing stems to the base. Draw the leaves up over the crowns of tender perennials as added protection. I always leave anything with a bit of shape for interest like sedums and grasses – they look wonderful in frost. Compost as much of the debris as possible, using a garden shredder if there is one to hand. Mulch the beds with well rotted compost, straw, bark chippings or leaves.
- Bonfires: anything that can’t be composted needs to be burned but don’t have a fire without checking the heap for hibernating creatures.
- Dividing and transplanting: November is a wonderful time to plant new trees and shrubs and to move plants while there’s still some warmth left in the soil.
- Vegetable Plot: now’s a good time to revamp the veg plot. Dig over the plot, and cover with a good layer of manure – the clods of soil will get broken down by the winter weather. I cover mine with a good layer of manure, the earthworms will take the organic matter down into the soil. Lift and divide rhubarb plots.
- November Garden Jobs No. 7, plant garlic bulbs, early peas. Harvest leeks and parsnips, lift and store beetroot and celeriac.
- Grab a coffee and plonk yourself down on your outdoor garden table and flick through those catalogues to draw up a list of what you want for next year.
- Sort out your pots and trays, chuck away any damaged ones and make sure the others are clean and ready for next year.
- Spring bulbs: time to get your tulip bulbs in.
- Plant new roses while the growth is dormant. Climbing roses destined to grow against walls should be planted at least 40 cm from the base of the wall; any closer and the soil will always be too dry for the plant to thrive.
- Get ahead: book the lawn mower in for servicing.
- Patio pots: insulate those that you are going to leave in situ and move others into a frost free environment such as a greenhouse.
- Check the greenhouse heater is working and insulate the greenhouse.
- Last chance to start off amaryllis bulbs to flower at Christmas.
- Plant out spring bedding.