November is the last month of meteorological autumn and for us gardeners it’s time to tidy up our gardens in preparation for the cold months of winter. The days are now noticeably shorter and the temperatures have fallen however we can still enjoy the last of the golden colours of autumn. To create some floral colour in the garden at this time of year we can plant cyclamen and winter pansies into pots and borders.
The garden will feel emptier at this time of year as trees drop their leaves and many plants shrivel back into dormancy. The empty space creates the perfect opportunity for us to get amongst borders and beds to dig the soil over and clear dead foliage away. We should put any loose twigs and leaves onto the compost, as they will create a leaf-mould mulch that we can use next year. By digging over the bare top soil of beds and borders we revitalise it by exposing it to the rain, snow and frost over winter.
November gives us a beautiful blanket of fallen leaves across our gardens and pathways, however clean up the leaves to prevent damage to the lawn grass and a patchy lawn next year. It’s best to rake the leaves up and either put them on the compost or into tightly knotted plastic bags with some pierced holes. In about 6 months’ time the bags of leaves will become your very own leaf-mould compost, perfect for mixing into soil on borders and beds.
A November gardening day can also be spent sweeping out greenhouses, sheds and garages and brushing cobwebs and leaves off fences, gates and walls. We can make the garden look very presentable by straightening the lawn edges and digging and raking over any bare soil. The gardening tools and lawnmower can be cleaned up, maintained and tidily stored away ready for springtime. We must remember to check the bonfire, as wildlife can make its home here for the forthcoming winter.
The soul of the garden is the gardener and whilst we don’t quite have as many jobs as in the growing seasons we can do ourselves the world of good both in mind and body by being in the outdoors, so grab your coat and gloves and enjoy some garden days in November. Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.
This month’s top tips:
Check the bonfire for any hibernating wildlife
Continue to plant your spring bulbs
Move outdoor pots into sheltered areas of the patio and garden
Keep off the lawn grass when rain soaked and frosty