Wednesday, 16 November 2016

November's Garden Checklist ...

Good Morning!
We're halfway through November already so here are some jobs that you can be getting on with in the garden over the next few weeks ...

1. Tulips  - November is the ideal time to plant Tulips!
It's recommended that you plant them no earlier than this month due to the risk of the bulbs developing a particular disease called 'Tulip Fire'.
For those unaware this is a fungal disease which results in the plants developing twisted and distorted leaves with brown spots.

When planting Tulips first check that the ones you buy don't have any signs of mould / damage and aren't too small as this can affect flowering ability in the first year.
Plant them atleast twice the size of the bulb apart and two to three times it's own depth. If planting in pots the bulbs can be closer together but make sure that they aren't touching and are three times their own depth.
Also if there are any other Spring Bulbs that you haven't had the chance to plant yet then why not get them in the ground at the same time!

2. Buddleja - Over the Summer months Buddleja's can put on lots of growth and Autumn & Spring is the ideal time to give them a cut back. 
I like to reduce my plant by a third in November and then by another third in the Spring. It may seem drastic but by reducing it's height it helps keep it in control and you can remove any dead or diseased branches. Flowers also are only usually produced on the end of current seasons growth so if your plant is left to it's own devices all the flowers will be at the top! 
Pruning Buddleja's also reduces it's chances of self seeding for those of you that don't want any more plants popping in around the garden!

3. Dahlia's - By now most of us in the UK will have been hit by our first hard frost, ours was last week! If you still have Dahlia's in the ground a sure sign that they've been hit by a frost is that the foliage will have been blackened. If you live in an area of the UK with a slightly warmer climate and well - drained soil then you might be able to get away with leaving the tubers where they are with just a covering of mulch once cut down. 
However if you live further North like myself now is the time to get them lifted! 
If you are wanting to save some for next year cut the stems to 2inches from the base and trim away any thin roots. Lift the tubers from the soil using a fork being careful not to cause any damage. Remove soil from the tuber by hand and store them somewhere cool and dry upside down for a couple of weeks, this allows excess moisture to drain away. Once dry make sure you label your tubers with the variety names and store in a tray or wooden box covered with dry sand or compost leaving only the old flower stalks above the surface. keep them in a cool but frost free space until next year.

Dahlia 'Cafe Au Lait'

4. Plan - Plant companies are sending out their catalogues for next year which is the perfect oppertunity to start planning what you'd like to grow! It's also a good way of still being involved with the garden if you can't actually get outside to be in it due to the weather. It's always a good idea to make a list of what you'd like to grow such as old favourites and new varieties to try for the first time.

5. Leaf Mould - You can find a fuller description of Leaf Mould in the October Checklist but you can still carry on collecting leaves for it throughout this month. It really is worth doing!

6. Bare Root - Whilst the soil is still warm November is a great chance to get bare root plants in the ground and established over the winter. Bareroot plants are often cheaper to buy than containerised plants which is another advantage! Roses, Hedging, Fruit and Trees can all be bought in this form.

Rose 'Champagne Moment'

7.Hardwood Cuttings - This time of year is perfect for taking Hardwood Cuttings of plants such as Climbers, Fruit and Shrubs. You can take this particular form of cuttings between now and late winter aslong as it isn't during a severe frost. For a detailed explanation of how to take these cuttings simply click this link HERE to go to the RHS website.

8. Weeds - It's one of the least enjoyable jobs but it really is a good idea to get on top of weeds before they become established. 

9. Soil - Soil needs a little help at this time of year to keep your plants performing to their best. After you've done some weeding dig in some Leaf Mould or well rotted Garden Compost into your garden borders. You can also apply a 'Mulch' of the above or Composted Bark to the surface of the soil which is atleast 2 to 3 inches thick, be careful not to pile the mulch up against the stems of plants.

10. Displays - Finally why not brighten up a corner with a colourful planting display? 
Here I have made a quick and simple display using two different coloured Cyclamen which will sit next at my front door.

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget you can find all the previous Checklists on the page tab above.


  1. Love planting spring bulbs BUT my neighbourhood squirrel(s) manage to pinch them no matter what I do :(

    1. Hi Susie, have you tried covering the area planted with the bulbs with some chicken wire? Also adding sharp grit to the tip of thw planting hole is also meant to help :) xxx