Gardening in November
November is notorious for possessing very few good gardening days. Many gardeners retire their tools and continue to plan from the comfort of their armchair. This month is often considered a time to reflect on what has grown well throughout the year and what varieties have unfortunately failed. Many individuals choose to order seeds and fruit trees now for planting next spring, whilst others choose to carefully plan their vegetable garden to ensure a build up of pests and diseases can be avoided by good crop rotation. However, whilst the wind and the rain increase, dry days should be taken full advantage of, as there are plenty of productive things that can be done outside.
Tulip bulbs can be planted now for a lovely spring display next year. Planting them now will also help to prevent Tulip Fire infection. The cold winter period is in fact extremely essential for tulip bulbs to produce flowers in spring so we recommend that shallow planting be avoided to achieve this.
Roses should be pruned to prevent wind-rock, which damages roots and leads to water collecting in the ‘socket’ caused by the stem moving at soil level. This can lead to fatal rotting so we encourage that the stems of tall rose bushes are shortened, stems should be cut just above and outward facing bud whenever possible. Also make sure that shrivelled soggy blooms are snipped off to prevent rot setting in. These small steps will ensure that you can enjoy their winter display whilst ensuring that they will be full of healthy and vigorous flowers next year.
In November the soil is still warm and moist so it remains a good time to plant new herbaceous perennials. This month is also a good time to improve the shape and health of these flowers by lifting and dividing any overgrown clumps. We advise that faded herbaceous perennials are cut down when required and that the cuttings are cleverly added to the compost heap.
It is often encouraged to plant this festive flower now for beautiful winter flowers, however despite their name they rarely flower naturally by Christmas. Covering them with cloches, placing them on a windowsill inside the house, or potting them up and bringing them into a warm greenhouse can encourage them to flower a little earlier!