November in the garden

The leaves are falling and the days of wind and rain are gaining in number.  As well as wrapping yourself up warm – your garden needs plenty of TLC in November.

Plant spring-flowering bulbs for a spring display next year

There’s still time to plant daffodil bulbs and other spring flowering bulbs for a magnificent start to next year’s display.

Tulip bulbs are quite happy to be planted through to the end of the month, but other bulbs should be in the ground before it loses the heat of the summer months.

Daffodil Bulbs- Source: Pixabay
Daffodil Bulbs- Source: Pixabay

Rake up leaves on your lawn

Fallen leaves prevent light and air getting to plants and lawns and these dark, damp conditions are dream conditions for slugs, snails and a host of nasty fungal diseases.

Avoid any problems by raking up fallen leaves regularly and move them to a composter or leaf pile. You can compost leaves easily by filling a few bin bags (with plenty of air holes), spray them with water and let them break down in a quiet corner of your garden.

You should also gather up fallen leaves from around the base of rose bushes which suffered from blackspot or rust this summer, to reduce the chance of infection next year. Dump or burn these leaves rather than composting them to avoid spreading these diseases.

Raking up leaves- Source: Pixabay

Get Planting Colourful Winter Planters

Brighten up your front door and windows with cheerful winter containers.   Apart from the usual winter-friendly violas, pansies, primulas and polyanthus, consider using shrubs such as skimmia, euonymus or box and also evergreen perennials, grasses and sedges such as heuchera, Stipa tenuissima and carex for structure.

Violas are winter-friendly plants for a winter container- Source: Pixabay
Violas are winter-friendly plants for a winter container- Source: Pixabay

Protect Tender Perennials

If you haven’t done so already, move tender perennials into the shelter of the greenhouse or garage and water less to bring on a state of semi dormancy.

In colder areas, tuberous-rooted cannas and dahlias should be dug up and stored in just-damp compost in a cool, airy place.

In warmer areas, an ample mulch, compost or leaf mould should protect them and they can stay put.

Raise containers onto pot feet to prevent water logging

Raise potted plants off the ground to prevent them becoming waterlogged and remove any saucers from under pots as the water in them could freeze in the first frosts and crack your pots.

Remove any saucers from under the pot to avoid them from cracking- Source: Pixabay
Remove any saucers from under the pot to avoid them from cracking- Source: Pixabay

Prune fruit bushes

Prune pear and apple trees anytime between now and February. But don’t be tempted to prune your plum trees now as they will be susceptible to the silver leaf fungus – wait until midsummer.

Help the birds prepare for winter

Remember winter can be a tough time for birds and they require high energy (high fat) foods during the cold winter weather to maintain their fat reserves to survive the frosty nights.

At this time of year, put out food and water on a regular basis. In severe weather, feed twice daily if you can: in the morning and in the early afternoon.  Black sunflower seeds are an excellent year-round food, and in many areas are even more popular than peanuts.

The oil content is higher in black than striped ones, and so they are much better. Nyjer seeds also have a high oil content and are particular favourites with goldfinches and siskins.

Nyjer seed is high in oil content

Peanuts are rich in fat and are popular with tits, greenfinches, house sparrows, nuthatches, great spotted woodpeckers and siskins. Crushed or grated nuts attract robins, dunnocks and even wrens.  Feeding birds is also an ideal way to enthuse children about wildlife.

Get in Touch!

If you have any questions about your November garden contact us on social media- @CountryLifeGC (Links in footer). If you have a specific problem such as pest damage it’s really helpful to send us a picture- we’d love to help!