By November, winter is in full swing and you probably want to spend as little time outside in the cold as possible. However, it is important that you continue to give your garden some attention in order to keep it in condition for when summer finally makes an appearance.
Keep your Borders Tidy
Unruly, withered and brown plants are not an attractive sight, even in the winter. Cutting these plants down and putting them on the compost heap is the best thing that you could do with these dead plants. You should tidy up as much as possible, but do leave some of the perennials that fade elegantly. Leaving these will bring ladybirds who love the winter cover and will repay you by getting rid of aphids.
Drain and Lag
You should save yourself any unnecessary expenses by draining and lagging standpipes, and outside taps and irrigation lines and water pipes in advance of hard frosts. This will prevent them becoming frozen over and blocked when the temperatures drop.
Rake Fallen Leaves
Having any amount of fallen leaves littering your garden will prevent precious sunlight from getting to the plants and flowers that need it so desperately at this time of year. Fallen leaves will also create a haven for unwanted garden pests such as slugs, snails and fungal plant diseases that regular raking can avoid. However, don’t let these leaves go to waste: add them to your compost heap in order to make use of their nutrients- you may need to dampen leaves slightly before adding them if they have dried out.
Despite the cold weather, November is a good time to start planting things such as shrubs, trees, hedges and fruit trees and bushes. Before planting, you should soak the roots in a bucket of water for about an hour, and don’t forget to protect the newly planted plants from the inevitable frost and cold!
Get your Lawnmower Serviced
Despite not really needing to mow your lawn in the winter, you should ensure that your lawnmower is kept in good working order! If, when you go to use it in Spring, you find it doesn’t work you’ll be at the end of a very long waiting list, so be prepared!
Raise Plant Containers
Even if plants are hardy, the winter weather can have a damaging effect. You should raise them from the ground to prevent plant containers from becoming waterlogged. Tiles, feet and even bricks would be perfect for doing this.
Fill up Bird Baths and Feeders
Fresh food and water can be in short supply for birds during the winter months so it’s important that you regularly top up and provide clean water for them. This is especially important in freezing conditions were little water is available elsewhere. Keep feeders and feeding station out of the reach of cats to ensure that the food and suet balls are going to those it’s intended for.
Do you have any advice on which garden tasks are essential in November? Let us know!
[Photo Credit:Durley Beachbum ]