The leaves are falling, as well as the temperatures, and the rain has started to come more often. Yes, winter is definitely on its way. But, that doesn’t mean there are no jobs to be done in your garden in November – definitely not! You will have done a lot to prepare your garden for the winter back in October, but there are still tasks to tick off your to-do list this month. And, we’re here to help with expert gardening tips and advice to get you through the month.

So, read on to find out the key things to do in your garden in November

Tulip bulbs

Top tips for what to do in your garden in November

– Autumn is often treated as a time to hack everything back for a big tidy up before winter really sets in. However it’s actually not a good time to prune many trees and shrubs – you are better to do this late in winter, or in early spring. Cherries, if pruned, are very vulnerable to silver leaf disease. And evergreens are usually tackled in early spring, or after flowering.

– Saying this, there are some plants that should be pruned in the autumn – these include beech, hawthorn and hazel trees. As well as climbing and shrub roses. Vigorous growers like buddleja, dogwoods and lavatera can be reduced by half to lessen problems of wind rock over the winter. The most important part of autumn pruning is removing dead, diseased, or misplaced branches. Always aim to make a clean cut, either back to a bud on living wood, or back to the stem it’s growing from. After pruning, scatter a few handfuls of bonemeal around the root area of shrubs to stimulate root growth over winter, and mulch with garden compost.

– If you have grapevines in your garden, then you will also need to prune these in November. Cut back all fruited shoots to one or two buds from the main stem. This can be carried out between November and late winter. If your grapevines under glass are then it’s best to prune them sooner, rather than later, so that winter sunlight coming into the greenhouse is not blocked out.

– As long as the ground is not frozen or waterlogged, keep planting out pot-grown hardy climbers, shrubs and trees – and, you must remember to water them through the winter. It’s also a good time to plant bare root specimens which are usually cheaper to buy.

Broad beans

– Sow some broad beans! These beans, which are also known as ‘fava’ beans are a cool weather crop and can be sown in autumn/early spring to give a succession of pods to pick from early, to mid, summer – delicious! They like a deep, rich, moist but free draining soil and plenty of sunlight. Some varieties can grow to around 90cm high, so make sure you prepare for this when choosing a spot to plant them. If your garden gets a lot of wind, then you may be better to grow a dwarf variety – such as ‘The Sutton’.  Once they’re planted you can look forward to harvesting them come summer – make sure you pick them before the beans grow huge (beans should be about the size of a thumbnail when popped from their pod).

– Keep on top of leaves that are falling on the lawn, beds and in your pond. Rake them up regularly to keep on top of this task.

– It’s your last chance to plant some tulip bulbs! By planting them this late in the year you’ll have a much better chance of preventing the bulbs being infected with the fungal disease, tulip fire. Just don’t leave it too late – if you can get them planted right at the start of the month. They’ll be best to plant in a lightly shaded spot that gets more sun as spring progresses.

– If you gave your lawnmower some care last month before thinking about packing it away, then you must remember to drain out any petrol. Unleaded petrol does not keep, and may cause you issues come spring when you try to start it up again. This also applies for hedge-trimmers and any other machinery requiring petrol.

Bird feeder

– Now is the time to clean out bird nesting boxes. If you do not clean them out they can harbour wintering pests like mites, as well as bird diseases. Remover old nesting material before scrubbing with clean water. Allow the box to dry and then dust it with a wildlife-safe fungicide. Also put out bird food regularly to encourage the birds into your garden. Then, sit back and look forward to seeing some lovely birds visiting!

Plant tree guards or chicken wire around young trees and woody shrubs that are prone to attacks from rabbits, deer or squirrels. This will stop them nibbling on the bark which could let diseases in.

Prepare your taps for winter! Use foam lagging to insulate all outdoor taps and pipework against freezing temperatures. If they aren’t protected, water within the tap or pipe will expand causing splits or cracks meaning there will be leaks once they are thawed out.

Gardening idea for this month…

Late autumn is a great time to move established deciduous shrubs and trees. It’s hard work, but it’s worthwhile. Prepare the new planting site first, so you can replant quickly, provide a support stake if necessary, and water the moved plant thoroughly once it’s in. Then, follow our four simple steps

1. Dig a trench around the rootball – distance from the trunk should be about a third of the height of the plant – bigger if you can handle it.

2. Cut through thicker roots and once you’re down about 45cm, start to undercut the rootball deeply, chopping with a spade.

3. Once the shrub comes free, drag the rootball onto sacking or mypex sheet and wrap the sheeting around it, tying it around the trunk.

4. Slide the plant onto a tarpaulin and carry it to its new planting site between two people. Unwrap the rootball and replant. Be sure to water it well!