November in the garden

I know I said the nights were getting chillier in October, but we are definitely on the countdown to winter now. We’ve had a couple of frosts already and there is less colour everywhere, with the exception of a few hardy souls like my beautiful Osteospermum (see above). November in the garden heralds the onset of putting everything to bed, and it’s a very busy time.


Unlike most spring bulbs which are usually planted in September or October, tulip bulbs really need to be planted after a few frosts. The bulbs can be prone to fungal disease so waiting until late November, or even December, should ensure they grow healthily. I was lucky enough to win a GeeTee competition for some beautiful Angelique tulip bulbs recently and now I need to decide the best place to plant them to show them off.
Β© Gee Tee bulb company


Dahlias are tender perennials and need some protection over winter. Received wisdom says, once you’ve had the first frost and the foliage has blackened, you should cut them back until you have around four inches of stem left. Then lift the tubers, shake off all the earth, and put them into cool, dry storage for the winter.

That said, I’ve never bothered to lift mine, I just mulch heavily (see next paragraph) and that seems to work. I know that, even if I lose some plants (I haven’t yet!) I can always buy some new tubers to grow again in the Spring.

Weed, feed, and mulch

Now’s the time to start weeding, feeding, and mulching any vegetable beds that aren’t growing winter crops, or flower beds that have finished flowering. The soil in these beds will be lacking in nutrients after working hard all year. Once you’ve cleared all the dead or dying plants and weeds, scatter and dig in some chicken manure pellets or another such fertiliser. You’ll be giving any new seeds or plants next year a really good head start.
Word of warning, unsurprisingly, chicken manure pellets STINK so this is one of the reasons why you mulch on top. (Mulch could be compost or leaf mould (from all those leaves you may have bagged up last year). Mulch can also be used to protect new plants, left in the ground dahlia tubers, or your lovely spring bulbs from frosts. I also have high hopes that the smell of dried chicken s**t this year will help deter our three cats from using my newly dug over beds as their luxury toilets – fingers crossed.

Bring in tender plants

If you’ve cleared out and cleaned up your greenhouse then you’ll have a place to put your tender plants that won’t survive Winter left outside. Pelargoniums (geraniums) and other potted plants will overwinter quite happily under cover in a frost free greenhouse. If their leaves blacken, don’t worry, they’ll recover when the weather warms up. If you don’t have a greenhouse then a sheltered porch or cool conservatory will be fine too.


November is really your last chance to plant any new plants: bare root roses, fruit trees, and shrubs. The soil is still warm so they have a good chance to get their roots down and settle in before the ground hardens up with the winter frosts.

Clean and sharpen tools

This is such an important job. You wouldn’t put your cutlery away without cleaning it, would you? The same applies to your secateurs, loppers, spades, trowels, and other garden tools. Pruning needs clean and sharp tools to avoid bruising or otherwise harming the plant. And it’s very difficult to dig a hole with a dirty, blunt spade. Brillo pads or wire wool make excellent cleaners. After you’ve cleaned and sharpened your tools it’s a good idea to give them a light spray of lubricant such as WD40 to prevent any rust forming over Winter.

So, these are my November garden jobs. What will you be doing? πŸ™‚

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30 comments on "November in the garden"

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It’s beeen so cold recently! I can’t wait to move next year and to start gardening!


I’m amazed at how much you know Lisa! It’s really quite amazing, you’d wouldn’t have been amiss on Ground Force hehe! I’d love to learn more about gardening and plants – I plant the odd bulb or two for the Spring but that’s about as far as my knowledge goes to be honest! Also, do you have a tiger in your garden? Please explain this… πŸ’š xxx


Such a great post! I really need to have a day in my garden! I got all my bulbs in a few weeks ago but I need to bring in some plants and also plant my sweet peas inside! xx

Bethany Jane

Okay firstly I got such a fright and thought I was hallucinating when I saw that tiger haha! It’s so cool though! Secondly, your selection of plants is gorgeous. That Osteospermum is stunning! I love the pink theme you’ve got in your garden at the moment, so pretty. When I finally get a garden I can actually plant things in I’m coming to you for advice πŸ™‚
Beth x

Sara Coffield

I’m new to all this so will just be mowing the lawn and pruning my roses!

Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty

Very informative post! The leaves on our trees are still falling off. They didn’t have time to fully come off before the snow came and they dropped alot of leaves overnight. The snow didn’t last and I hope it stays away.

Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty

andthenzen ✨

I genuinely miss having a garden – it feels like forever since we lived in a house and not a flat, and I miss it, even in the colder months! πŸ™Š


Ooh, I must remind my Mum about getting her tulip bulbs ready for planting! Tulips are my favourite spring flowers, they always brighten up the place, so to have a good crop in the garden is always lovely! Agreed on how bad chicken manure smells, even in pellet form! I live on a pig farm so you’d think we’d be used to animal odours by now but chicken manure really is something else haha! Thank you for a lovely post, filled with handy hints!

Abbey πŸ’—


I’m definitely going to have to save this post for future reference; I’m amazed at how much you have to do in a garden before winter sets in! When I finally have a garden I’ll have to look back at this!

Rachel ||


Great reminder of the winter gardening tasks. I was in my front garden this weekend clearing leaves from the path and getting rid of weeds. I also tidied up my front porch and window box with Christmas red geraniums and added fairy lights to the buxus box plant at front door. Still loads to do in back garden, but happy with the front garden for now. Thanks for your tips about planting with mulched leaves, that’s a good way to recycle.


Gardening is such hard work to make it worthwhile, but I love beautiful flowers! Tulips, dahlias, peonies, and garden roses are my favourite!! <3

Claudia xo


Such a lovely and different post to read! I literally know nothing about garden but I love a pretty garden! those tulips look so nice

Ellie x


I just helped my mum take in some of her delicate plants for the winter, we’ve put them in a side room of her bungalow. I had to Google what to do with them as this is the first year she’s had a big garden and neither of us knew what to do, and when I was googling I thought of you and how I needed you to come and be our garden advisor! πŸ™‚

Creative Nails

I had to have a double take when I saw that Tiger in the garden, haha! Such an interesting post to read, it’s so nice looking at gorgeous gardens, especially when there’s so much colour in them – it’s a shame it starts to fade in autumn/winter! I can’t wait for it to warm up again!

Amy, Creative Nails

Kirstie Wheeler

Ah, these flowers look beautiful. One of the things I love most about living at home still is that my dad loves gardening. I can always count on him to have done something to the garden (no matter the season) so it makes it a lovely place to sit and relax. I think I’mma have to show him this post so he can get some more inspiration.