What to do in your garden this month

This monthly guide is geared to London gardens and their unique conditions. Compiled by the RHS Wisley Plant Centre team
Continue to plant tulips during November as herbaceous plants die down and more border soil is available

Must do in your garden this month

* Continue to plant tulips as herbaceous plants die down and while you can gain access to the border soil. For permanent planting seven- to eight-inches deep is good.

* Bare root roses and hedging should now be available to order. Those arriving by post should be soaked for an hour in a bucket of water; this also applies to bare root trees and shrubs bought from garden centres.

* Autumn-flowering bulbs and alpines need to have falling leaves removed so that you can see them and reduce fungal diseases.

* In small urban gardens, rake up leaves and use “Love ‘em and Leaf ‘em” sacks which are a great invention for keeping the leaves from blowing all around the garden. The leaves will gradually break down into mulch.

* Move pots that contain permanent planting of evergreens against the side of the house to give them a bit of protection from cold and frost. Make sure that you place the pots onto pot feet to allow the water to drain.

* September-planted bulbs, for indoor flowering, should now be showing just above the soil surface. Do not be tempted to bring them in - they will still be rooting. The longer you can leave them in a sheltered spot outside, the easier it will be to time Christmas flowering.

* Apply grease bands to fruit trees to protect them from winter moth.

* Deciduous hedging and shrubs can now be pruned. This is much easier to do when the foliage is off, to allow you to see the structure of the plants.

* After cleaning up the borders and removing all the dying foliage, a mulch of bark or leaf mould will insulate the soil around newly-developing shoots next spring.

November is a good time to take hardwood cuttings of plants
November is a good time to take hardwood cuttings of plants, including roses, buddleia, blackcurrants and gooseberries

Nice to do in your garden this month

* Take hardwood cuttings of roses, buddleia and soft fruits, such as blackcurrants and gooseberries. Cut stems that are the thickness of about a pencil and 12 inches long, then, using a spade, make a cut in the soil of no more than eight inches deep and place your cuttings into the soil until they reach the bottom of the cut. Firm back with your foot and allow 12 months for the cuttings to root. Transplanting can take place next November.

* Check that climbers, tall plants and trees are all fixed securely to their stakes to stop the bark rubbing and allowing pests to enter.

* Before you put your lawnmower away, clean, oil and sharpen the blades or have them serviced, so that you are ready for next spring.

* In the greenhouse and cold frame, just keep plants ticking over with just a light watering, to stop them getting too wet in cold weather.

* Apples and pears can be pruned now but be aware that stone fruit such as plums and cherries should only be cut back during the growing season when the sap is rising, to prevent die back and silver leaf.

* If you have a potted Christmas tree, now is the time to check that it has no “guests” such as aphid, before you bring it into a warm house. A good trick is to put on a sturdy pair of gloves and brush over the foliage to dislodge any dead or dying needles and then rake them up off the pot.

* Hardy peas can now be sown in the vegetable patch. Select a pea variety that has the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

* November is the traditional month to plant raspberry canes. Make sure you plant early, mid-season and autumn-fruiting varieties to give you a longer period of cropping.

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