November garden plant maintenance

November garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

Berkshire and surrounding areas

Autum trees around the lake

Autum trees around the lake

November with its short days and cold winds mean that tender plants need protecting from frost, gales and freezing rains. They may need to be moved into the greenhouse or a sheltered spot and if this isn’t possible, try wrapping plants and/or pots. Alpines need to be protected from the wet. Large tubs that are at risk of cracking in the frost should be covered with bubble wrap, hessian or fleece, to insulate them over the winter. Raise patio containers onto feet or bricks to avoid them sitting in the winter wet.

Winter can also be hard on birds in terms of water and food, and keeping them fed and watered can only be a good thing.

Do not feed plants this late in the season; plants tend not to grow in winder and any plant food may get washed away by winter rain. Apply an autumn mulch to protect plants that are borderline hardy such as Agapanthus, Kniphofia and Phygelius as it helps to improve and maintain soil structure.

Hellebores rarely flower naturally by Christmas, despite their common name of Christmas rose. They can be encouraged to flower a little earlier, if you want, by covering them with cloches, potting them up and bringing them into a warm greenhouse, or placing them on a windowsill inside the house.

November can only mean one thing – we are not far off winter. The clocks have gone back, the nights are long and dark and spring seems like a long way off.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom in the garden as there are several plants which give pleasure at this time of year: Prunus x subhirtella “Autumnalis” is a small cherry tree ideally suited to little gardens, not only does it show lovely autumn colour but it flowers from October to March with sprays of delicate pink to creamy white. Then there’s Pittisporum tenuifolium “Tom Thumb”, an evergreen from New Zealand Its leaves go a rich burgundy and will appear to go almost black – and the harder the weather, the more intense the colour: Dogwoods with their colourful stems; Cornus stolonifera “Flaviramea” which has golden yellow stems; Cornus alba “Sibirica” which has blood red stems; and Cornus sanguinea “Midwinter Fire” with a yellow base to the stem which changes to a fiery orange, ending with a red tip to the stem!

If you need help with vast quantities of fallen leaves, weeding, planting and any other gardening job, Gardeneer is here to help you.

Jobs for November

  • Clearing up leaves from lawns, beds and ponds;

  • To prevent waterlogged containers, raise them onto feet;

  • Plant tulip bulbs to flower next spring

  • Prune roses to prevent wind rock;

  • Plant out winter bedding

  • If pigeons are a problem, net brassicas;

  • Bubblewrap containers to insulate them from frost;

  • Lift dahlia tubers, begonias and gladiolus corms to store dry over the winter months. Remove the dead foliage before storing.

  • Before the birds eat them all, cut a few stems of holly with berries for making Christmas garlands. Stand them in a bucket of water in a sheltered spot where our feathered friends can’t take them.

  • It it’s allowed and it’s not fit for the compost heap, dispose of garden debris on a bonfire.