We haven’t seen it yet, but for the past two years – November has been the month where the first frost has reared its head. With this in mind and the end of the year creeping inexplicably closer, we take a look at some of the things that we all need to be doing in our gardens in November. Got your hats and scarves? Good, let’s begin…
Autumn into winter
You’re probably beginning to feel that leaves are taking over your garden by now. They’re going to continue to fall for a couple of weeks but by the end of November, we should be seeing autumn slipping out of the back door and winter taking a foothold. Before this happens, we want to have swept all fallen leaves and debris from the garden. This chore is particularly important on grassy areas, in and around ponds and on flower beds. Make sure that your garden is clean and tidy going into spring and you’re going to have a much easier time of it come next year.
Remember to ensure that any pots left outside over the winter can withstand a freeze. Terracotta and ceramic is notorious for cracking and shattering during the colder nights, so bring these inside or at least give them a little protection (even a covering of bubble wrap can work wonders here.) There are a lot of treated materials (mainly plastics) now that can handle a winter outdoors – and not all of them are hideous. Either way, make sure that you raise all of your pots and containers from the ground. Excessive rainfall may sit on the ground for days and you don’t want your potted plants swimming in groundwater, so raise them slightly from the ground to allow drainage and prevent waterlogging.
As well as making sure that any leaf litter is clear, you want to give your lawn a final mow before winter. If you have a lawnmower that allows you to adjust blade length, try cutting at a higher cut-height. You’ll want to aerate the lawn where possible too, which you can do quite easily by leaning back on a garden fork around the lawn. With flowerbeds now empty or more sparse, you can edge your lawn a little easier and this will make the world of difference when your garden is looking a little tired.
Bonus tip: gather leaf litter onto your lawn before mowing, if you have a mower with a collection box. This shredded mass will compost much quicker than whole leaves.
Tools & tech
Whether or not you have a fantastically constructed shed, your garden tools and machines can take a battering over winter. Give them a once over before storing them (remove all dirt and soil and dry them thoroughly.) You might also want to go for some linseed oil too, to prevent rusting.