Jobs for November

Take time this month to winter-proof your garden and prepare for any cold frosts. It is also a great month to plant trees and support your local wildlife by creating bird feeders. Explore more tasks with our top ten gardening jobs for November.

01 November 2021

  1. Collect fallen tree leaves to make leaf mould compost. Leaf mould retains moisture as it breaks down into very finely divided particles. It is great for seed compost as it contains few nutrients, as they were all drawn back into the plant's stems and roots when the leaves changed colour.
  2. Where you can, leave seed heads from herbaceous perennial plants for birds to eat. Leaving these flower and grass seed heads un-cut over the winter will give birds a source of food but will also provide homes for insects.
  3. November is the month for harvesting; apples, beetroot, Brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, leeks, parsnips, radish, spinach, Swiss chard, swedes, turnips and winter cabbages. Remember parsnips can be left in the ground until needed, as they taste better if they have been slightly frosted. 
  4. It’s time to plant trees. Planting trees in the late autumn when there is moisture and warmth in the soil encourages root development and the lower light levels slow down the vegetative top growth (leaves and shoots), allowing the roots to establish well. Learn how by watching this video.
  5. There are less sources of food for birds around now, so start making bird cakes or bird feeder garlands to help them out.
  6. In November, you can start to tidy up the garden. Clean up any tools, labels, canes, measuring sticks, netting, plant supports and protective structures you have finished using for the year. Make sure you store them somewhere dry and safe, ready to use next year.
  7. You could prepare for the new growing season buy trying to raise some funds for your garden, finding some volunteers or getting the garden ready for growing. You could do this by hosting a garden open day, creating raised beds, getting the school or local community to help build a bottle greenhouse and more ideas that can be found here.
  8. November is when frosts start to arrive across the country. If you have any over wintering crops that need protection, it’s time to cover them with fleece or cloches. Remember you can still plant garlic sets and shallots this month ready for the spring, they will not mind a touch of frost.
  9. Early November is sometimes the last opportunity to plant spring flower bulbs in the ground before the frosts set in and cause digging to become too difficult. Get out and about in the garden planting these now, ready for a wonderful spring display.
  10. Need some indoor gardening activities for those stormy or rainy days? Tidy up and prepare by making and decorating a seed storage box, make recycled gardening aprons for everyone, make measuring sticks, make fun vegetable creatures with your harvested food, decorate plant pots and fill them with bulbs as a gift, draw a map of your garden and plan what you want to grow in the new growing season. 

Keep busy in the garden with more jobs to do, find these on the RHS jobs for the month page.

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