The days are shorter and everything feels much darker this month but that doesn't mean it needs to feel depressing. You can still rely on your garden to bring you some joy during the month of November.
Believe it or not there's still some action to be had in your veg patch by sowing hardy winter salad varieties to keep you going throughout the cold months and into next year. Most of your spring bulbs and bedding should be in the ground now but now is ideal for getting bare root trees planted. Why not go for a miniature Prunus which will give you glorious spring blossom from March onwards?
There's also some important prep to be done to protect wildlife for the months ahead, including clearing out your pond and protecting it from dead leaves and debris, and ensuring that birds can find food and shelter over winter.
And with the right kit you might even find you can still enjoy sitting outdoors with small groups of friends and family. What's better than having a great garden to socialise in at all times of year! There are even some fun craft activities that the whole family can get involved in, some of which will make amazing Christmas gifts!
Keep reading for ten perfect gardening jobs for November, then head to our garden design ideas for more great ideas for your space.
1. PLANT A WINTER BASKET
Brighten up your patio or smarten up your front garden to create a warm welcome by planting a winter hanging basket. Winter bedding varieties such as pansies, violas, cyclamen and dianthus will look great. You could even try adding some spring bulbs into the soil too which will emerge later in spring. Add some trailing foliage to the mix with some ivy.
2. PICK SWEET CHESTNUTS FOR ROASTING
Pick up sweet chestnuts which have fallen to roast. Don’t confuse them with horse chestnuts, which are inedible. They are covered in fine spines and the nuts look slightly flattened with a tuft at one end. Their leaves are long and have large teeth around the edges. Make a small slit in the shell before roasting or they might explode.
3. PLANT SPRING BLOSSOM NOW FOR NEXT YEAR
Now is the perfect time to get bare root trees into the ground before the frost sets in so if you've always fancied having spring blossom in your garden then plant one now. In a small garden choose a compact variety like Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’ which can be grown in a container. Position it on a patio and enjoy a mini blossom display during the spring months.
4. WARM UP WITH A FIRE PIT
A quality fire pit will be a worthwhile investment for the cold months ahead and will see you through all the seasons. There are so many options to pick from so you'll definitely find one to suit your needs, but if you are stuck we've rounded up the best fire pits for cosy autumn evenings. If it's logs you'll be using then make a feature out of them with a log store and add some hardy throws for extra warmth.
5. CREATE A HAVEN FOR BIRDS
Birds need to drink as well as eat, so give yourself an armchair view of a birdbath and keep your camera handy. Untidy borders will act as magnets, so leave dead heads on plants to attract chaffinches and greenﬁnches. Don’t clear up all the autumn leaves either, so carnivorous birds, like robins and blackbirds, can scratch around for morsels.
6. SOW HARDY WINTER SALAD LEAVES
Summer may have well and truly slipped away, but you can still grow a variety of tasty salad crops in the cooler months. You can sow hardy salad varieties in window boxes as well as pots. Lambs lettuce, winter purslane and pak choi red can all be sown now by scattering them thinly on compost and covering with a 1cm layer of soil.
7. DON'T NEGLECT YOUR HOUSEPLANTS
Autumn and winter can be a testing time for your house plants as most winter households are dark, with varying levels of temperature and draughts. They are also centrally heated and that can encourage attacks by sap-sucking pests. Keep your plants away from heat sources and ensure they are in a place where they get an ample amount of light. Reduce watering but mist every few days to boost the health of your precious plants.
8. GET INSPIRED BY A GARDEN VISIT
Visiting a beautiful garden is a great way to get inspiration for your own outdoor space. Many gardens are open to the public still and you'll be able to see wonderful examples of winter colour. Google gardens to visit in your area and check whether they are open to the public before you visit. Many are open but require you to prebook before arrival. It's a great family day out with plenty of fresh air and exercise to be had in the brisk cold. Wrap up warm and venture out, you won't regret it!
9. PROTECT YOUR POND
Remove leaves and weeds regularly with your garden rake. The tines gather plant materials as they’re moved through the water. Cover your pond with netting to stop leaves falling in it. If your pond freezes over and you have fish, melt a hole in the ice by putting a hot saucepan on it. Cut down on feeding fish and move to a low-protein food through autumn and remember that they’ll gradually stop feeding
10. GATHER UP FALLEN LEAVES FOR CRAFTING
Collect fresh fallen autumn leaves for pressing which can be used for all sorts of craft projects. Look for a range of colours and shapes you can use for designing your own wrapping paper and cards. You could even arrange them in a frame to hang up on your wall. Buy a flower press online as this can be used for the leaves, while recycled brown and gold wrapping paper and jute twine is available from thedanes.co.uk, a sustainable site.