What's happening in the garden now...
The page below lists the various tasks that Ben and the team will be completing in the garden this month. Split into four main sections the lists will hopefully help you structure and plan your own gardening work schedule... so lets get busy
Despite being November autumn is still very much here. Trees and shrubs are slowly dropping their colourful leaves, gently revealing the bare bones of the garden. However, night temperatures are set to drop this month, which will shake the garden into a frosty retreat. Work is a lovely mixture of tidying up after this year’s growing season as well as preparing for the next, making changes in vegetable patches and borders whilst checking over seed stock and planting bulbs…a time to enjoy the changing of the seasons and harvest from the garden.
Plant bulbs for next year’s spring displays. Hold off from planting tulips tell the soil temperatures lower and grow in pots and containers if soil conditions do not suit.
Reduce leggy growth on shrub roses to avoid damage by strong winds on blustery days.
Dry and clean any seed that has been collected from the garden, label and then pack away in a cool dry place for sowing next year.
Sort through last year’s leaf mould pile, applying it to parts of the garden where the soil needs improving. As new leaves begin to fall, collect and make them into plies to produce next year’s supply.
Rake, weed and tidy paths to give the garden an instant ‘pick me up’.
Replant pots and containers with plants for winter interest if not already done so.
Keep a very watchful eye out for Box Blight, as it is most prevalent now and in spring.
Grub out any brambles or perennial weeds that may have sneaked into the garden whilst your back was turned during the busy summer months.
Clear, tidy and organise sheds and storage buildings, safely packing away growing structures and protection nets so as ready for next year.
Collect any seasoned logs and kindling and move them to somewhere dry so that they will be protected from the wet weather during winter.
Check and clear gutters and drainage channels to avoid blockages and flood damage to the garden and buildings.
Make lists, source and order any additional trees and shrubs that you may wish to plant soon or early next spring.
Remove fallen leaves and debris from turf and meadow areas to prevent damage to the sward.
Check stone and brick surfaces for algae growth and scrub or pressure wash accordingly to prevent any slippages.
Apply frost protection and insulation to pots or water pipes to prevent any damage should the temperature drop below freezing.
Take stock of your garden, review the year so far and think about future maintenance plans and improvements that you may wish to do before next year’s growing season begins.
On mild days open windows and doors, but be sure to close them in the evenings as temperatures drop, this will help with ventilation and reduce fungal problems.
Apply frost protection to outdoor salads should temperatures suddenly drop.
Harvest the last of Chillies, Peppers and Aubergines, before clearing away plants to make room for overwintering others.
Ensure shading has been removed and the glazing is clean to make the most of the reduced light levels during winter.
Continue to pot up and force bulbs for Christmas and the winter period, stagger planting by a week or two to ensure a gradual display.
Clean and tidy indoor plants, removing dead leaves and flowers whilst trimming back to create space and improve both light and air conditions.
If required, prepare to add additional insulation to your greenhouse, in the form of horticultural fleece or bubble wrap.
Bring in, trim and pot up any stock plants of tender perennials that will be propagated next spring, if not already done so.
Evaluate this year’s pest and disease problems and then research and plan for prevention next year.
Reduce watering to prevent plants becoming waterlogged, making sure to water early in the day allowing plants to dry off before evening temperatures drop.
Sweep clean and tidy the interior of the greenhouse, using garlic spray, Jeyes Fluid or an equivalent to reduce the growth of mould.
Check and organise any heating that may be required once winter arrives.
Lift dahlias after the first frost and trim top growth, allow tubers to dry and remove excess soil, before storing somewhere cool and dry over winter.
After curing Pumpkins and Squashes in a bright sunny place, move somewhere cool, dry and away from direct sunlight (though frost free) for winter storage.
Keep vegetable patches weed free to avoid creating a ‘weed seed bank’.
Remove and store protection nets and structures from soft fruit areas, allowing easier access for harvesting and maintenance.
Lift and pot up small sections of herbs such as Mint and Parsley. These will happily continue to grow inside ensuring a fresh supply through early winter.
If available, mulch vegetable beds with organic matter. Whilst preventing weeds it will also protect and nourish the soil during the winter months.
Harvest apples and pears and store in a cool but frost free, dark place. Regularly check for rots and rodent damage, removing any affected fruits.
Plan any new additions to the fruit collection, research into rootstocks, pollination groups and varieties before ordering and planting over the winter season.
Cut and dry mop head Hydrangeas before frosts remove their colour. Keep very dry and away from direct sunlight to ensure a good colour.
Tie in new canes of vigorous Blackberry and other Hybrid Berries, along with early Raspberries to prevent snapping and damage. Be sure to remove any old dead canes that have already borne fruit this year.
Lift, clean and store carrots, disposing of any that have Root Fly damage to prevent the pests from continuing their lifecycle.
Dry, clean and pack seed collected from this year’s cut flower annuals and biennials, which can then be grown or swapped with friends next year.
If slug damage is a problem, lift potatoes, clean and store in a cool dry place.
Regularly check stores of produce, removing any rotten specimens to prevent further infection.
Check through seed packets, removing old non-viable seed whilst making a note of what new varieties will need to be ordered for next year.
Prune or tie in excessive growth on Roses to prevent damage caused by strong winds.
Lift and divide hardy perennials that you do not wish to do in spring, adding extra specimens or completely new additions to fill any gaps. However, bare in mind that plants will not grow much through the winter and so maybe best wait tell spring.
Plant out any biennial or perennial plants that have been propagated and grown on during the year, though perhaps hold off tell next spring if you are planning to lift and divide the borders in the near future or if you garden on heavy clay.
Mulch shade or woodland borders with leaf mould after removing weeds and this year’s fallen leaves.
Complete planting of spring flowering bulbs such as Crocus, Narcissus and Tulips, all of which will add colour and interest to the border next spring.
List and source additional plants, with a view to planting them early next spring in borders that need renovating and improving.
Prune late season flowering shrubs to maintain health and vigour, promote flowering and restrict size.
Take time to look over the borders in detail, making note of what has worked well and where improvement is required. These notes will be of great use later this year or the beginning of next, when deciding on future maintenance, improvements and additions.