As November arrives, the garden undergoes a transformation, and it's time to make some adjustments to ensure your plants, vegetables, and fruit trees remain healthy during the approaching winter. In this month's gardening guide, we'll explore essential tasks and projects to keep your garden thriving. From caring for your vegetable garden to tending to fruit trees and lawn maintenance, we have you covered.
- Check Garlic and Onions: Examine your garlic and onion bulbs for signs of rot. Pay special attention to the neck of the bulb, which is often the first area to show decay. Remove any affected bulbs promptly, and use onion bags to improve air circulation.
- Inspect Stored Potatoes: Regularly check your stored potatoes and remove any that show signs of rot. This prevents the spread of disease to healthy potatoes.
- Lift Parsnips: After the first frost, lift your parsnips for a sweeter flavour. Cold temperatures enhance their taste.
- Frost Protection: Shield cauliflower and celery from frost. Use straw or bracken to protect celery, and for cauliflowers, bend or break an outside leaf and place it over the curd.
- Raised Beds: Consider building raised beds to make vegetable growing more comfortable, reducing the need for bending.
- Sow Aguadulce Beans: In November, you can sow Aguadulce beans, which will withstand winter as young plants. They'll be ready to harvest 2-3 weeks ahead of those sown in the spring. Plant them with 45cm spacing between rows and 12cm between seeds.
- Pruning: This is the ideal time to prune apple and pear trees, and continue this task until February. However, hold off on pruning plum trees until midsummer to prevent susceptibility to leaf silver fungus.
- Plant Berry Bushes: Plant raspberry canes and currant bushes to expand your fruit garden.
- Check Stored Fruits: Regularly inspect fruits in storage for signs of disease and promptly remove any affected ones.
- Strawberry Plants: Tidy up strawberry plants by cutting off dead leaves and removing runners.
- Planting Trees and Bushes: Plant any newly arrived trees, bushes, and cane fruits in their permanent positions.
- Harvest Apples and Pears: Harvest apples and pears before they are blown down or damaged by harsh weather.
- Aerate Your Lawn: Promote healthy grass growth by aerating your lawn. You can use a lawn aerator or insert a garden fork at regular intervals and lean it back to allow air into the soil.
- Leaf Cleanup: Continuously remove fallen leaves from the lawn to prevent them from smothering the grass.
- Mowing Height: Set your mower to a minimum height of 4cm for any necessary mowing.
Trees & Shrubs
- Climbers: Tidy up hardy climbers that have overgrown their positions during the summer. While these climbers don't need hard pruning now, keeping them tidy is essential.
- Pruning: From November until late March, prune climbers that flower on the current season's growth, such as wisteria, honeysuckle, and late-flowering clematis.
- Plant Roses and Shrubs: Start planting bare-rooted and root-wrapped roses and shrubs as they become available.
- Hedge Trimming: Give evergreen hedges a final trim to ensure they look neat throughout the winter.
- Spring Bulbs: Finish planting spring bulbs, allowing them to establish themselves before winter. If you plan to interplant spring bedding with bulbs, plant tulips last.
- Bulbs for Forcing: Check bulbs that you're forcing indoors.
- Chrysanthemums: Cut back chrysanthemums and bring them into the greenhouse if necessary.
- Alpine Plants: Protect choice alpine plants from wet conditions.
- Frost Protection: Safeguard tender plants from frost.
- Herbaceous Plants: Cut back herbaceous plants as needed.
- Plant Out Cuttings: Plant out rooted cuttings of carnations and pinks in free-draining soils.
November is a busy month in the garden, but with these tasks and projects in mind, your garden will be well-prepared for the winter ahead. From protecting your plants from frost to maintaining your lawn and preparing your fruit trees, there's much to do to ensure a healthy and beautiful garden as the seasons change. Happy gardening!