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November Garden Tips

Garden work for November 2018

Flower garden

Every year someone predicts that the winter will be particularly severe. It is many years since we have experienced a prolonged shutdown that can be caused by the combination of snow, ice and day after day of cold. When this happens there is very little that can be done. So be like a Boy Scout and ‘Be Prepared’, even in the garden. It does pay to try and get as much tidying up done before the weather closes in on us. So get the ground turned over, the leaves swept up and protect the tender shrubs against the worst of the weather.

November is the best month for planting bare root roses.

Remember to get your tulips planted before the end of the month. Try layer planting of tulips in containers. You can do this by planting the later flowering varieties first, cover them with about an inch to 2″ of compost and then plant earlier varieties. A typical 12″ diameter container can take up to 40 bulbs in order to get a good display that lasts several weeks if this technique is used.

Watch out for slugs even as the autumn starts to turn to winter. We usually look out for them in the spring, but they can still do considerable damage shoots of delphiniums and campanulas at this time before the hard frosts start.



Prepare for the spring by digging and manuring the vegetable patch in November. Remember to keep a 3-year rotation so that potatoes (for example) are not planted in the same area two years running.

If you are planting a new tree, put a mulch mat around it or mulch with garden compost. The tree will root much better.

We have had quite good growing weather this autumn, and many of the evergreens and hardy trees will have made lush growth. Where possible prune the excess growth back before the winter storms set in, otherwise they will be vulnerable. The main pruning will still need to be done in the spring.

If you have a sheltered and well drained plot, now is the time to sow winter broad beans such as Aqua Dulce. Early broad beans often escape the blackfly attacks on the growth tips of the plant in spring.

Provided the weather is suitable keep digging the ground for good crops next year. Where it is possible, double dig in farm yard manure, or well-rotted compost from your own compost bin.


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