General Tasks

  • Plant trees and bushes.
  • Plant grape vines and prune established ones.
  • Begin pruning soft fruit.
  • Finish taking hardwood cuttings.
  • Protect buds from birds.
  • Check fruit in storage.

The Fruit Garden in Autumn

What to do in the fruit garden in November

Check on the condition of fruit cages and renew or mend any damaged side netting. Finish pruning and tying in cane fruits (except autumn raspberries).

Peach and almond trees infected with peach leaf curl should be sprayed with a copper spray as soon as the leaves have fallen. This is in addition to the February spray.

Newly arrived tree, bush and cane fruits should be planted in their permanent positions or, if this is not possible, heeled in until it is.

Apples and Pears

Pick and store any remaining fruits of apples and pears before they are blown down or otherwise damaged. Check any stored apples and pears and remove any that are showing signs of deteriorating or ripening. Apples and pears that were summer pruned should be looked at and, if there has been any growth from the pruned shoots, this should be cut back to the point of origin.


Tidy up the plants of perpetual strawberries by removing any dead leaves and spent fruit stalks. Do not cut them back in the same way as you would summer varieties.

Pruning Red Currants and Gooseberries

These can be pruned now and are treated in the same way as bushes growing on a short trunk (leg). They are made up of semi-permanent branches, which are only cut out when the quality and quantity of their fruit deteriorates. Basic pruning consists of keeping the bushes open by removing crossing, crowded, and out-of-place branches.

Pruning Black Currants

These produce their best fruit on shoots younger than about four years old. Pruning therefore consists mainly of cutting out to the ground branches that are four and more years old, to make room for younger ones. Along with these must go branches that are too low, or otherwise clearly out of place, and those which are causing overcrowding. Diseased and broken branches must always be removed.

Propagating Gooseberries and Currants

Gooseberries and all types of currants can be propagated very easily from hardwood (mature) cuttings. Cut off strong, straight and healthy shoots of this year's growth. The top and bottom of each shoot is cut back to a bud so that the resulting cuttings are about 25 cm (10 in) long. Red currants and gooseberries should be on a leg, all buds except the top three or four are nicked out. Make a v shaped slit in the ground with a spade, and push the cuttings in at 15 cm (6 in) or so apart, so that the lowest retained bud is about 13 cm (5 in) above the ground. The cuttings will be ready for digging up and planting in their final position one year later.

Note: hormone rooting powder is not required for hardwood cuttings.

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Fruit for November

There is still time to harvest the last of the apples and pears.

ripening apples on a tree


pears on tree


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