November in the garden and winter has really begun to creep in. This month is all about last chances and tidying in readiness for the cold months ahead. From cleaning out bird nesting boxes to raking up fallen leaves and removing dead foliage. However, there are still some planting jobs that can be done in preparation for next spring. So its well worth putting on some arm clothes and getting out in the garden when the weather permits. But before you do take a few moments to study this short reminder of some of the essential things you should be doing in the flower garden during November.
This may be your last chance to save any half hardy plants that have been left outside. Dig them out of the flower border, pot them up and store in a cold greenhouse. Dig over bare patches of soil in flower borders and work in plenty of organic matter in the form of compost. This will improve the soil by increasing drainage and aeration. Keep lawns and border free from falling leaves. Rake them up and stack in wire netting or a black plastic bag to create valuable leaf mold to use next spring.
Remove any dead foliage from hostas to deter slugs and snails. Make sure you prune back growth on shrub roses by half to prevent wind rock and prune rambling roses once they have finish flowering. Take down sweet peas and other annual climbers from their supports and put on the compost heap. Any winter bedding such as pansies will need regularly dead heading to keep them flowering. Mulch the crowns of hardy fuchsias with bark chippings to protect them from the cold weather. Once chrysanthemums have finished flowering cut them down to ground level.
Its still not too late do some planting in the flower border. Finish planting spring flowering bulbs such as tulips and lily of the Valley this month. It is also a good time to plant roses. Plant wall flowers, forget-me-nots and pansies. At the end of the month you can start planting bare rooted hedging, trees and shrubs.
Empty garden planters filled with hardy annuals and compost them. Fill the containers with winter bedding such as heathers and trailing ivy to provide some winter interest on patios and in gaps in borders. However, make sure they are removed to a sheltered spot if a severe frost is forecast.
Photo. Marjon Besteman-Horn