November can be a surprisingly busy time in the garden, with the last of the bulb planting, clearing and tidying up before the ground really hardens and the winter sets in.

Last chance to plant bulbs…

planting bulbsBefore the ground sets like iron and the frosts appear, early November is your last chance to plant spring bulbs like narcissus and daffodil. You can also plant tulip bulbs to reduce the risk of Tulip Fire infection.

Plants…

Bare root roses can be planted anytime between now and March. Prune roses now to avoid wind rock.

Protection of tender plants for winter with straw and chicken wire mesh and plastic

If you have any really tender plants, like banana or tree ferns then they’ll need wrapping and/or removing to the greenhouse for winter protection from storms and low temperatures. www.rhs.org.uk/advice

Keep lifting dahlia tubers, and also begonia and gladioli corms and store somewhere cool, dry and frost free over winter.

Plant out winter bedding.

Cut back foliage from perennials that are flopping, or where leaves are yellowing and dying back. You can also dig up perennials and divide them to increase and re-position your plants for next year.

greenhouseTidying up…

Clean out the greenhouse thoroughly, washing the glass and floor to discourage pests and infections over the winter.

Gather up leaves from the base of rose plants, especially those with black spot to reduce infection next year.

Clear falling leaves throughout the garden for compost, and lift pots onto ‘feet’ to stop waterlogging.

garlicVegetables and fruits…

Lift parsnips after the first frost to improve flavour.

You can also prepare beds for Autumn garlic.

Spread rotted manure on your cleared veg beds so it has the winter to break down into the soil, ready for next year’s planting.

Plant raspberry canes and currant bushes while they are dormant.

Prune pear and apple trees from now until February, but don’t prune plums, as this will encourage silverleaf infection.

feed-the-birdsAnd…don’t forget the wildlife…

Make sure bonfires are checked for hedgehogs, and leave areas of rotting or old wood, or areas that are a little more ‘wild’, so that frogs, newts, toads and insects have places to hibernate and shelter in the inclement weather.

And last but not least, if you can, feed the birds.