Action for November Borders and patios
Easy jobs for borders
Cut down herbaceous plants
Cut back any herbaceous plants look messy and those you don’t want to keep for winter structure.
Protect shrubs from winter weather
Strong winds can damage tall shrubs such as lavatera and buddleia. ‘Wind rock’ is when stems loosen at ground level and let water get in around the roots which can freeze and lift the plant.
Cut down tall stems by about half. You can do the same with tall roses.
Tie in splayed-out branches
Tie in branches on conifers to improve their shape and, if snow is forecast, to prevent them breaking under the weight.
If you have cordylines, gather the leaves together and tie at the base and the top with garden twine. This will prevent moisture getting into the crown of the plant, which can cause rotting.
Plant lily bulbs
It’s also not too late to plant daffodils, although they may flower later.
What to prune now
- Deciduous climbers including Virginia creeper or Boston ivy (parthenocissus) honeysuckle, and wisteria.
- Trees, removing all dead, diseased and damaged wood. To achieve a better overall shape, or to reduce the canopy to allow in more light, remove a third of the finer side-branches.
- Faded flower spikes of summer-flowering heathers - don't into old wood as it won’t reshoot.
- Don’t prune spring-flowering climbers such as Clematis montana, as you’ll remove developing flower buds.
On the patio
Protect plants in pots
Place pot feet under patio containers to aid drainage and prevent your pots from becoming waterlogged.
Insulate terracotta, stoneware and glazed containers with bubble wrap and cover them with hessian to make them look more attractive.
Move garden furniture under cover to the garage or shed or cover with purpose-made covers available from garden centres.
Raising wooden furniture off the ground will help to prevent the legs from rotting – put bricks or tiles under the legs.