Garden Jobs for November
With the recent mild weather, many of us are still enjoying being in the garden. Autumn is nature’s time to plant as the ground remains warm and moist, so there is plenty to do. We thought we would share a few garden jobs for November.
Rake up those leaves or should you?
Or should you? It’s often thought that if leaves are left they can slow down your grass growing in the spring and lead to snow mold disease. However, in recent years research has suggested we should put down our rakes and get the lawn mower out, chop the leaves up and make mulch! The argument is that the leaves provide excellent nitrogen and organic matter, protect root systems and help with soil moisture. Wildlife will also thank you as leaves provide protective habitat and food. So perhaps something to consider if you usually rake.
We are a few days away from bonfire night and if you have been making a bonfire in your garden it’s a good idea to make checking it for wildlife, one of your first garden jobs in November. Gardener’s World provides 5 tips on how to build a wildlife-friendly bonfire. It’s also good to make sure you check the rules for what you can and cannot burn, it may seem useful to be able to burn some things but it’s very important to think about the environmental damage some items cause.
The current spell of mild weather really does make autumn the best time to plant as it gives the roots the opportunity to establish themselves in warm moist soil so they are ready to start growing in early spring. Waiting for spring to come delays your spring growth as you need to wait for your plants to establish and this may delay flowering.
We currently have some great perennials still available to buy. They have been loved and looked after in our nursery and are perfect to plant now ready for next spring. These include Delphiniums, Penstemon, and Achillea. Prefer something a little hardier? We also have a variety of Heuchera that will look stunning in beds, borders, and pots and provide great ground coverage, it’s a super perennial that can be planted at any time, even in the middle of winter!
As well as planting perennials autumn is a great time to plant shrubs. If you are new to gardening and are wondering what the difference is between a perennial and a shrub, shrubs have a woody structure. Perennials don’t and deciduous types die down to the root every autumn. Evergreen perennials do what they say they keep their leaves and stay predominantly green all year round unless, of course, the leaves were not green to start with!
If you are looking to add shrubs to your garden take a look at our website, you’ll find a selection that includes the Ceanothus Southmead (California Lilac) renowned for its blue-purple colour and RHS Garden Merit Award. It performs well in sheltered areas of a garden and is perfect for pollinating insects such as bees.
Prepare for frost
More garden jobs for November – we know it’s not far away so it’s a good time to start thinking about protecting plants, shrubs, and trees with plant jackets or fleece. Driving rain, harsh winds, and snow can cause considerable damage so it’s worth investing in some for any that are particularly tender.
Bed sheets can be useful to cover plants as they offer protection but still allow moisture to escape. Low-growing foliage can be protected by newspapers but this can be difficult to secure. Whatever you use make sure it does reach the ground so that warm air is trapped inside. Layering up is also a good idea if a severe frost is forecast.
Make sure you keep an eye on the weather forecast as the growing season approaches your plants will need light so as soon as it is safe to do so, remove your covers.
Insulate the greenhouse
Through the winter months, plants that are in your greenhouse will benefit from some insulation, and bubble wrap is a great way of providing warmth whilst still letting light in. Make sure you also seal off any gaps with weatherproof tape.
If you have a large greenhouse you can also use bubble wrap to create smaller spaces by using it to create a curtain, you’ll need to attach the wrap to the ridges and sides and hold the bottom down with something heavy like a plank of wood. You may find this helps as smaller areas will keep warmer longer without a heater and if you are using an electric heater you may be looking at ways to keep your greenhouse costs down.
Show your lawn some love
There is still time to show your lawn some love. Treat yourself to an aerator and get aerating! This simple process allows air, water, and nutrients to reach the grass roots and stops them from getting stressed by being too dry which causes your grass to lose its rich colour.
You can also feed your lawn and tackle any weeds or moss so your lawn remains healthy through the cooler months and will reward your efforts when the spring and summer arrive.
Prune fruit trees
Your garden jobs for November should include pruning.
Pruning this time of year helps you to keep on top of your trees’ health, shape and size. Getting rid of branches and shoots helps the sap concentrate on new growth ready for the spring. Once a tree is fully established you can prune during the summer months although a little winter maintenance is always wise.
The Woodland Trust has a great article on pruning a variety of apple trees, you can read it here.
Order your Hellebores
We said it last month and we are saying it again, our Helleborus Gold Collection® is looking fantastic and are available to purchase now.
Hellebores give us an array of beautiful flowers at a time when the garden would be otherwise drab and colourless. Some varieties start to flower as early as October/November and will withstand severe cold and snow to delight us through the year’s darkest days. Others bloom in late winter and continue flowering well into Spring, alongside the daffodils and tulips to welcome warmer days.
Why not grab a cuppa and take a look?