What to do in the garden in November
Ten top tips from our experts on what to do in the garden this month (November).
1. Conifers add much needed colour and shape to your garden in the winter months and are starting to become more popular again with the gardening community all over the world. There are many different colours to choose from including hues of green, blue and gold. There are also a good selection of shapes and sizes from tiny dwarfs to specimens.
2. Winter flowers may look delicate, but most are surprisingly tough. A few winter blossoms from plants like Viburnum and Christmas box are morale boosters when the weather is dark and miserable.
3. Deciduous hedges can be pruned any time during winter. Cut the hedge 30-60 cm (1-2 ft) lower than the height you actually want, to allow for new growth. New deciduous hedges are best planted during autumn/early winter when bare-rooted plants are available.
4. Feeding birds. Remember that they depend on the food you put out and could starve without it. Continue to feed them daily until spring. Make household foods into bird cake with melted lard. Avoid desiccated coconut that swells up in the birds’ stomachs. A good supply of water is important during freezing weather for drinking and bathing.
5. Frost and wind can lift and loosen new plants, causing stress and damage. Make sure tree ties are secure and do not rub the trunk.
6. Stored bulbs, fruit, vegetables and tubers should all be checked every few weeks. Throw out any showing signs of rot. Ensure that the compost around dahlias and other tubers isn’t allowed to dry out completely.
7. Winter is a good time to plan what to grow next year. It’s a great idea to keep a garden calendar or planner, then you can look back on your successes as well as your mistakes. It will also be a very useful memory-jogger for garden jobs in future years.
8. Borders can be weeded at any time through the winter. Cut back dead stems of perennials and add them to the compost heap. Rake up fallen leaves. Dig up and compost annual weeds, but burn of throw away the roots of Perennial ones.
9. Hedgehogs and toads often crawl into garden rubbish to hibernate for the winter. Check bonfires before lighting them. Hedgehogs tend to hibernate in compost heaps. Take care when forking out the compost or turning it. When creating a new heap, make a hedgehog home at the bottom using a wooden box or another similar structure.
10. Plant both container-grown and bare-rooted plants so long as the ground isn’t wet or frozen. Plant winter-flowering heathers for a good display of flowers from December to March.