November is the season of cosy evenings gathered around the bonfire, toasting marshmallows and watching fireworks sizzle in the cold night air while warming your hands against the flames. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty to do in the garden though: so here’s our list of jobs to do this month.
- Gather autumn leaves to make rich, crumbly leafmould – the perfect soil improver for your plants. Make a cage with posts in each corner surrounded by chickenwire, fill and leave to rot for at least a year.
- Check under pots for snails as they like to tuck themselves into sheltered, hidden corners to hibernate for the winter. This makes them easy to find – and a few less to deal with next season!
- Leave ornamental seed heads in place so the frost can catch them and make them glitter: ornamental grasses, rudbeckia, echinops and sanguisorba have seedheads that look beautiful right through winter.
- Overwinter dahlias and cannas as soon as the frost has blackened foliage: lift tubers carefully, stand upside down for a week so the water drains out, then store in boxes of damp sand in a frost-free shed.
- Pull out rose suckers carefully, tearing them away right by the roots – don’t be tempted to snip them away with secateurs or they’ll resprout in even greater numbers next year.
- Cover salad veg with cloches to keep them productive for that little bit longer in the extra protection when cold weather starts to bite.
- Tuck straw around root veg so the ground doesn’t freeze in cold weather – that way you’ll still be able to harvest them even in really cold spells.
- Check your winter stores to make sure none are turning bad – if so, remove them right away so they don’t infect their neighbours.