November

General Tasks

  • Continue sweeping up leaves.
  • Store leaves to make a leaf mould compost.
  • Dig over vacant ground.
  • Check stakes, ties and supports.
  • Plant bare rooted trees and shrubs.
  • Provide green house heating, remove shading and decrease ventilation.
  • Clean green house windows and clear leaves from the roof.

Gardening in Autumn

What to do in the Garden in November

Late autumn is a quiet time in the garden, with short, cold days and long, often frosty, nights. Due to the dipping temperatures and lower light levels November tends to be a foggy month, as well as a wet and cold. Most plants are dormant at this time of year and required very little attention.

There are still few tasks to be done, such as continuing to rake-up leaves and digging over the ground for next spring's planting, whenever the weather is suitable. Also continue to check stakes, ties and supports on trees and shrubs.

The end of November is a good time to start planting bare rooted and container grown deciduous trees and shrubs (both ornamental and fruiting). Planting time depends on when they are delivered and what condition the ground is in. If the ground is frozen or waterlogged, heel in bare-rooted subjects and store container grown ones until things improve.

Plants in the greenhouse will still need occasional watering, the greenhouse air is likely to be damp and cold, a combination favourable to various unpleasant fungal infections. Ventilation is still necessary, to get fresh air into the greenhouse, but it must be balanced against draughts and sudden frosts. If your greenhouse is a heated one, you will find daytime heating more and more necessary as the month passes. Artificial lighting is much more the province of the commercial grower, but you can take steps to ensure that whatever sunlight is around reaches your plants. Remove dust and dirt from the glass or plastic and clear leaves from the roof.

Topping-up the Compost Heap

All waste vegetation should be added to the compost heap to return the goodness to the soil and enrich the garden in future years. Any soft vegetation can be added including mowings, vegetable tops, the remains of ornamental plants and prunings (if shredded).

Leaves should be composted separately as they will take much longer to break down, however, they will form excellent leaf mould, which is very useful product in the garden. So good in fact it's worth gathering leaves from outside the garden (where allowed) to add to the pile.

Next page >> What to do in the Flower Garden in November >>

Gardens to Visit

UK gardens open in November include:

Capel Manor

Large collection of display gardens with different designs and materials. Large walled garden. Mature shrub borders, woodland areas and water features.
Location: Hertfordshire

Dundee University

Botanic garden with good collections of trees and shrubs. Tropical and temperate plant houses.
Location: Dundee

Hillier Arboretum

One of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in Britain. Over 40,000 plants in 11,000 different varieties. Spectacular autumn leaves and berries.
Location: Hampshire

Stourhead

One of the greatest landscaped gardens in the country, created around 1740-80. Beautiful lakes, many grand architectural features such as temples. Excellent autumn colour from many rare and mature trees.
Location: Wiltshire