Gardening Tips For November


  • Continue to feed birds but avoid too much food accumulating. High energy foods such as fat balls and sunflower seeds and hearts are perfect.
  • Keep drinkers and bird baths ice free in colder weather.
  • Help beneficial insects and hedgehogs by giving them somewhere to hibernate over the winter.
  • Put food out for hedgehogs if they have not already found their ideal over winter home. They will still pop out to eat on some warm mild days.
  • By putting nest boxes in place before spring you will provide shelter for birds in colder weather and help speed up their spring house hunting.

Trees, Shrubs and Flowers

  • Now is an ideal month to plant trees if the ground is not frozen. There are many varieties for smaller gardens and they are a great natural habitat. For the best results use bone meal in the planting hole this will stimulate root growth.
  • Plant tulips deeply into the ground and/or in containers for a fantastic spring display.
  • Spring flowering bulbs all need to be planted before the ground gets too frozen to dig planting holes in.
  • Cut back yellowing foliage on herbaceous perennials.
  • Lift and divide large perennial clumps.
  • Prune shrub roses 1/3 of their total height to protect them from wind rock and root damage.
  • Shrubs normally pruned hard in the spring can be cut back by half now such as Lavatera and Buddleja. This will prevent wind rock and keep them tidy.


  • If you are making the last cut set the mower to a higher level.
  • Edge your lawn.
  • Aerate your lawn with a fork to prevent waterlogging.
  • Rake up any leaves and compost them.

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Start pruning fruit trees and bushes when the leaves have fallen. The RHS website has great tips on how to do this depending on which fruit you grow.
  • Check stored apples regularly and pick out any damaged fruit.
  • Sow Broad beans such as Aquadulce Claudia for harvest in May/June if you did not do this last month.
  • Plant over winter garlic for a great crop next year.
  • Plant currant bushes and raspberry canes.
  • Lift parsnips after the first frost.
  • Check stored potatoes and remove any that are rotting.
  • Plant currant bushes when they are dormant.
  • Cut off runners and remove dead leaves from strawberry plants.
  • Spread manure across your vegetable beds to rot down over winter.

General Maintenance and Structures

  • Insulate the greenhouse with bubble wrap if you are using it to over winter plants.
  • Clean patios and paths with a patio cleaner to prevent slippery algae.
  • Check tree stakes and ties.
  • Rough dig clay soils when soil conditions are suitable (not wet or frozen) to help it break down overwinter by freezing and thawing.
  • Make sure you have fleece, cosies and cloches available to protect plants when the temperature drops.
  • Plant Paperwhite narcissi in bowls for fragrant flowers at Christmas. They are very easy to bring to flower, just keep them in a cool place until the foliage starts to show and then put them in a sunny spot.
  • Create a compost bin.
  • Raise pots off the ground to prevent water logging.