Like it or not, winter is upon us. A lot of work in the garden now consists of protecting and preparing for the cold months and, we are already looking ahead to the coming spring.
November is the month of the autumn storms, the first frost and the last major garden jobs. Read here what you can do in your garden in between showers.
Remove fallen leaves
Removing leaves is almost a daily chore, especially in stormy weeks. Not only does it give a more tidy look, but it is also better for your lawn and patio. If leaves are left on the lawn for too long, the grass will choke and develop yellow patches. And, leaves on the patio tiles can leave unsightly brown spots, especially ones that are high in tannic acids, such as oak leaves. If you have a large garden with many trees, a leaf blower is a tool that you will enjoy.
- As long as there is no frost in the ground, you can plant perennials, shrubs, trees and spring bulbs. Summer bulbs and tubers must now be lifted and stored frost-free. Tip: Plant large bulbs with the tips up. However, that is not important for smaller species. You can simply drop them in the planting hole.
- Place frost-sensitive potted plants indoors in cool but frost-free places, such as the attic or garage.
- Protect your perennials. Cover them with leaves, wood chips or a layer of compost. That not only protects against freezing but also stimulates growth when the growing season begins.
- Perennials can now be split or propagated by root cuttings.
As long as they do not freeze, you can prune your shrubs and trees. It is also the time to rejuvenate fruit bushes once they have lost their foliage.
The vegetable garden
- Now that most of the vegetables have been harvested, you can dig the vegetable garden. In case of frost, the soil will crumble easier, which benefits the soil structure.
- On bare soil, you can sow green manure, such as winter rye. In the spring, you can dig over it.
- You can still plant garlic until the end of November.
- When harvesting green cabbage and Brussels sprouts, it is best to wait until it has frozen properly. Frost converts the starch in these plants into sugars and, that makes them tastier.
Give the tools you no longer need this year a thorough inspection and cleaning before putting them away. The same goes for your garden furniture. Read our tips in How do you maintain wooden garden furniture? to learn how to take care of your garden furniture.
Other November jobs in the garden
- Is frost forecast? If so, close the outside tap in time.
- Clean the pond to prevent algae growth and acidification of the water. Cut back the pond plants so that dead stems and leaves cannot end up in the pond.
- Cover the compost pile. The rain washes away valuable minerals from the compost.
- If you have a greenhouse, clean the windows thoroughly so that the plants can benefit from the decreasing daylight.
- Hang up birdhouses now, so that the birds can get used to them. Do this at a height of at least 1.5 to 2 meters as a precaution against cats.