Gardening Jobs for November: Head Gardener’s Tips

gardening jobs for november
November 01 2023 | Garden

Head Gardener Neil Miller shares his tips of gardening jobs for November.

As well as planting winter bedding and clearing the ever falling leaves, now is the time to mulch your plants to retain the moisture and support them through the winter months. 

We use organic bark mulch but if you want to re-use and make your own mulch this is perfectly possible. You can create mulch from the leaves you’ve raked this month or you could collect and compost them (making leaf mould) for next year.

If you need mulch now, pile your leaves on the lawn (making a bank of leaves)  then use your lawn mower to mow across them, cutting the leaves into smaller pieces that can be collected and deposited around your plants.

Compost is not a mulch, but it does work well beneath bark or leaf mulch to retain soil and nutrients.

Compost can be great for suppressing weeds and also for improving the soil.  You can use kitchen scraps, and also spent garden waste to your compost bin.  Remember to ‘turn’ the compost every couple of months.  If you’re new to the process, you’ll need to give yourself 12 months before the composted kitchen waste and garden cuttings are ready for use.

The Rose Garden at Hever is famous for its wonderful collection. If you want to get going with a rose garden of your own, gardening jobs for November include thinking about planting bare root roses, in fact you can plant them any time from now until March.

They are much cheaper to purchase than potted roses.  You can buy them mail order – they’ll arrive without soil as ‘bare root’ plants.  Give them a good drink, dig a hole in richly composted soil, add bone meal and pop the rose in place. If you grow bare-root then the roses will be established in June and reward you with fantastic blooms. 

For your more established roses, it’s good to get the gloves on and clear the spent leaves from around the base of the plants to prevent disease. November is also a good time to prune them back. The general rule of thumb when pruning a rose, whatever the size, is to cut back by a third at this time of year.  Having shorter plants will help prevent too much swagger and way when the storms blow in – if you fail to prune them back then roses can get root damage from too much movement. 

Other gardening jobs for November include planting spring bulbs. We are busy planting new tulip and daffodil bulbs ready for our Dazzling Daffodils and Tulip Celebrations events.

If you have an abundance of apple or pear trees, then you can begin the process of pruning now (and up until February). We cleared a veritable mountain of apples from Anne Boleyn’s Orchard last month.