November Gardening

The weather in November is often changeable, and sometimes mild when the borders can be overhauled if this has not been completed during October. Often when very wet the only jobs that are possible are ones concerning paths etc. It is a mistake to try working the soil when it is obviously too wet as it not only needs great unnecessary effort but does more harm than good.

General cleaning up seems to be the most reliable work to recommend this month apart from planting roses and deciduous trees and shrubs.

Many leaves will have fallen onto lawns and over most of the garden and these are best removed to the compost heap.

In December a great deal of soil preparation will be undertaken and this seems a good time to check over the tool shed to make sure that spades and forks are clean and in good condition. The garden line should be unwound and replaced with fresh cord if it appears worn. Replace any lost soil from the pockets in the rockery with good well nourished loam and clear away any rubbish which is found.

Flower Garden

There is still time to plant daffodils, narcissi and crocuses for spring bedding, and if any terrace pots or old tubs are available plant these out with bulbs. They will make a wonderful splash of colour in the early spring, particularly as this is a rather colourless part of the year. Tulip planting should be left until the last week of the month and these should be planted at about a depth of 5”. Whenever possible have a bucket of sand alongside when planting and as each hole is made drop a little sand in before setting the bulb.

The larger proportion of tulips planted are of the Darwin and Darwin Hybrid varieties but there are others which can be planted to contrast with these, such as the “Double Tulips” and the very attractive “Parrot” varieties which have delicately fringed petals and are also available in a wide colour range.

Peonies already established in the border may be increased safely this month by lifting the roots and gently pulling each piece apart.

Outdoor chrysanthemums that have finished blooming can now be lifted and stored for the winter. These should be carefully taken up with the garden fork and placed with soil around the roots into boxes. All top growth should be cut down to 6” high and each plant labelled clearly as to its colour and type.

The boxes of chrysanthemums can be kept in the greenhouse or shed for the winter period and the soil kept moderately moist.

Lawn Care

The sweeping away of leaves from the lawn must continue during this month and if the weather is dry it may be necessary to give the lawn a final mowing with the blades set fairly high.

When it has been decided that mowing has definitely ended for the season the mower should either be well cleaned and oiled and stored in a dry garden shed, or taken to the local dealer for an annual overhaul. All too often, and this particularly applies to motor mowers, gardeners simply push the mower away for the winter forgetting it completely until the spring day arrives when the first cutting is needed. The dealers at that time of the year are already very busy and it is difficult to arrange for quick service. Garden shears and edging shears should be sharpened, reset, and stored, with a film of oil rubbed over the metal, along with the mower.

Trees and Shrubs

Planting of all deciduous shrubs and trees can be attended to during November. However, a few main points may be borne in mind now that planting is to be done:

Never plant when the ground is frozen or waterlogged.

Prepare the ground well as the shrubs and trees will stay in the same position undisturbed for many years.

Dig planting holes immediately before setting in trees and shrubs otherwise they may fill with water.

Any tree that needs staking must have this done at the time of planting to avoid damaging roots later.

Firm the soil well after planting is completed as winter winds can soon uproot badly planted trees.

In most cases flowering shrubs are pruned as the flowering

season ends but at this time of the year a good general check should be made in the shrubbery and any that have grown either untidily or simply too big should be trimmed to shape. Do not however rush to prune every bush in sight as they really prefer to be left alone.


This is by far the best month in the year for planting new roses and it is hoped that they were ordered in time for delivery now.

If the weather is bad at the time of delivery they can wait for a few days without any ill effects if the packing is left unopened and they are kept in a cool but frost free shed. If the planting delay is likely to be longer than a week or so they should be temporarily planted in a trench, preferably in a sheltered part of the garden, well covered with soil to await suitable planting weather. Pot grown roses which are to be kept in the cool greenhouse should be planted now in 10” pots of good soil. The potted up roses can stand outside until the end of the year when they can be moved into the greenhouse. Pot grown roses in a greenhouse need to be hard pruned however to discourage them from becoming too stalky.


Amongst other bulbs which can be planted in the greenhouse are the lovely Amaryllis. These bulbs may be bought now and planted singly in six inch pots containing John Innes potting compost mixed with a handful of coarse sand. When planted, two thirds of the bulb’s mass should be above soil level. The planted bulbs should be kept just moist until after the flower shoot appears, and from this point on kept well watered. When the leaves are also growing an application of liquid manure should be given to build the bulb up for next year’s flowering period. It is usually better not to repot as Amaryllis seem to like being confined to pots in which they become pot bound. The greenhouse should still continue to be ventilated during the middle of the day and some gentle heat applied at night if possible. This will help to maintain an even temperature. All resting plants should be given less and less water now as they remain dormant until the winter is over. Bulbs however, now growing well, should have their water supply increased.

Calceolarias and cinerarias can be re-potted as necessary. Bring a crown of rhubarb into the greenhouse and plant in the border for forcing early growth. Generally tidy up the house and remove any moss from the soil on the tops of pot plants and mix in a little fresh soil.

Fruit Growing

Any transplanting of fruit trees or bushes necessary should be made this month along with the planting of new varieties. Careful preparation of soil made before planting will help to establish the trees quickly and this cannot be too strongly recommended.

Do not forget when planting apple and pear trees that cordon and espalier trained trees take up little room and make good screens.


Most important is the digging this month and where the soil is heavy the hard work of ridging will be rewarded. A dressing of lime over all the vacant vegetable garden should be given and as digging proceeds plenty of compost added to the soil.

Broccoli not yet harvested should have some leaves broken over the tops to protect them.

Celery and leeks will again need to be earthed up and planting out of cabbages, savoys and leeks taken care of.

These can stand up to wintery conditions.

Asparagus growth must now be cut down if this has not been done already and any remaining carrots gathered.

28. August 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Tags: , , | Comments Off on November Gardening


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