November Gardening Tips and Snips
Protect Tender Plants
Tender plants such as Mediterranean plants like Olives and Abutilon will suffer if they are left out during the winter. If they can’t be moved into an unheated greenhouse or conservatory, cover with fleece and place a thick layer of bark mulch or garden compost around the base of the plant to protect the roots from the cold. For more information on protecting your plants against the cold weather this winter, check out our ‘How to protect your plants from the frost this winter’ guide.
Plant Bare-rooted Hedging
From November through to early spring you can buy ‘Bare root hedging’ plants, these are hedging plants which have been grown in fields and dug up when grown to the required size meaning the growing cost is much reduced making the hedging cheaper for you. Bare root hedging plants are delivered in bundles and should be planted as soon as possible before the roots dry out. To find out more information about bare-root hedging, have a look at our Guide to bare-root hedging and the Advantages of Bare-root Hedging.
Ideal houseplants for November are flowering Azalea and Cyclamen which besides being easy to grow, will flower right up till Christmas if kept in a cool room. Feed your plants with a flowering houseplant fertilizer and keep the compost moist, but ensuring you don’t over water them.
Evergreen Garden Plants
Evergreen shrubs are ideal for adding colour to your garden during the winter. There are also many plants which produce fruit and flowers during the winter too such as Skimmia and Witch Hazel. When planting, use a slow release fertilizer such as blood fish and bone, to ensure that you don’t promote too much new soft growth during the winter.
Winter Pots and Baskets
Brighten up your garden for the winter with the use of winter bedding plants such as winter flowering pansies, heathers and small evergreen shrubs. Planted containers also make fantastic gifts for Christmas; you can either buy some readymade ones or make your own up for that personal touch. Remember to keep planted containers of the floor using pot feet to prevent water logging and if there is a frost, wrap in bubble wrap to provide some extra protection.
Fruit trees and Bushes
There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own fruit! November is the ideal time to plant new fruit bushes and create your own fruit garden. To get the most out of your fruit bushes, use plenty of well-rotted compost and slow release fertilizer when you plant such as Bonemeal.
In the Greenhouse
Check your greenhouse out before the depths of winter, by clearing gutters and checking glazing is secure.
Heaters and frost protection should be tested now too as it only takes one frosty night to kill your tender plants. Remember too, that if it snows heavily, clear the snow off your greenhouse to let the light in.
Plants of the month
There are still plenty of colourful plants available during November including: winter-flowering heathers, winter jasmine, Viburnum bodnantense, Viburnum farreri, Viburnum tinus and Mahonias. Many plants that produce berries during the autumn will attract birds to your garden at this time of year too, adding that bit of extra interest.
Tender Bulbs and Tubers
Tender bulbs such as Dahlia’s and Cannas need to be stored frost free during winter. Wait until the frost has blackened the foliage of your plants and then carefully dig them up taking care not to chop them in half with your spade. Remove the soil form the tubers and place somewhere cool and dry to allow the tubers to become fully dormant. After a few days, store the tubers in almost dry compost in a frost free place over winter.
Old newspapers, kitchen waste and garden rubbish can be put on the compost heap for use next year. If you haven’t turned you compost heap recently this is a job that can keep you warm on a cold day. Turning the heap will allow all the compost to have access to air which will help it rot down during the winter creating wonderful soil improver for your garden.
Rake Fallen Leaves
A covering of leaves on plant borders and your lawn creates dark, damp conditions which create the perfect environment for many slugs, snails and fungal diseases, so you need to rake them away! If not, this can be damaging to your lawn and plants. You can even use the leaves to create leaf mould which is ideal for top dressing plants. However, please be aware that rose leaves can carry disease and evergreen leaves will take far too long to rot down so these are not ideal. We sell a range of rakes on our website, so you can pick the best one for you.
Make sure you don’t forget about the garden at Christmas, garden tools can make great Christmas presents.
What about a new pair of secateurs or a stainless steel spade on your Christmas list? Or even some garden gift vouchers; we sell both the national HTA garden gift vouchers and Crowders own Gift vouchers online. We also have loads of Christmas decorations available at this time of year, so why not brighten up your garden by run a set of Christmas lights through a tree or maybe have some fun light up reindeers on your lawn?
Feeding the Birds
Wild birds need lots of energy to keep warm during winter and keeping a fresh supply of food and water will attract them to your garden. There are plenty of different types of food and feeders available including food and feeders that are squirrel resistant such as Squirrel ban bird food. Providing food and water to the birds in winter is a brilliant way to add some extra life to your garden.
Download the November 2011 Tips and Snips fact sheet.