As the winter weather closes in and we start prepping for the cold conditions once again, it can be easy to forget or pay less attention to your garden. It may not offer as much flourish or excitement as the summer or spring, but gardening around this time is still important and there are an assortment of tasks to be getting on with this month.
In this article we’re looking at what you can do in the garden this November, so wrap up warm and see how you can take advantage of the season to prepare a garden ready to tackle the upcoming frost.
Look After The Birds
Birds can really have it rough this time of year, with temperatures plummeting and food reserves becoming scarce. As the month draws on and we get closer and closer to winter, preparing bird feeders and bird baths can help native and migrating birds stay healthy in adverse conditions.
If you haven’t already hung bird feeders, now is the time to do so. Birds will benefit from high fat foods, giving them energy and reserves to manage through the frosty days and nights, so keep this in mind when putting together your bird feeders.
A variety of feeders will help attract a variety of birds, offering something for every species, and many feeders are designed to keep out predators like cats, or pests like squirrels.
Water is also scarce around this time, so clean out, fill up and keep your bird bath topped up to give visiting birds a plentiful sanctuary throughout the colder season.
Prevent Freezing in Pipes and Taps
As temperatures drop, your outside pipework and taps can freeze and, potentially, burst. Water that freezes in the pipe will expand, which can lead to burst pipework. Frozen and burst pipes are frustrating and disruptive – not to mention costly to repair – so if you haven’t already thought about insulation, it’s definitely worth considering now.
The outside hose pipe tap is a common victim of the cold, and it’s recommended to drain water from them as a preventative measure – or isolate it from your water supply entirely. If you have an isolator valve for your external tap, turn it on to cut the external pipe water supply, then drain the remaining water from the pipe. You can keep the tap and isolator on throughout the colder months to totally prevent freezing.
You can also look into insulating your outside taps and pipes if you’re expecting to use them during the winter.
Plants and Vegetables
This time of year makes it tough to get your hands dirty in the garden, with conditions leading to sparse gardens compared to the summer. But there are some things that can keep your green thumb going in the cold. If you haven’t gotten round to it yet there’s still time to get some spring bulbs planted. Tulips in particular are ideal for November planting – especially if you’re keen to avoid a nasty tulip fire viral outbreak – and you can still squeeze in a few daffodils, too. Put in the hard work now and you’ll come out the other end with a flourishing spring display.
There are also a few vegetables you can sow in November, from hardy perennials like asparagus and rhubarb, to onions and garlic. You can prepare a varied vegetable garden in November, so take some time to plan yours out and you can reap a healthy reward later on.
If you have a greenhouse, now is the time to make sure it’s in top condition. Give it a thorough cleaning inside and out, and make sure it’s suitably ventilated and heated.
Winter salads and herbs can thrive in your greenhouse, so look to sow some now to keep your gardening mind active over the coming weeks.
If you don’t have a greenhouse, you might want to treat yourself to an early Christmas present. A greenhouse can be used all year round, letting you tackle different gardening projects as the seasons change. You can curate a lively home for a number of plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables all in a neat and controlled environment.