Getting your garden ready for the cold weather
November and December can often bring cold weather, wind, rain and even snow. Before you head indoors to snuggle up and prepare for the festive season, it’s time for a final clean up to prepare for Spring. Our winter gardening checklist below will take you through some of the essential jobs to tackle in November and December.
Winter gardening checklist
If it’s very wet keep off the lawn if possible, or protect it with a temporary path and sprinkle with sand if it’s slippery.
Continue cutting the grass all the time it keeps growing, but raise the blades.
Remove dead leaves from the lawn.
Lay turf, dig over areas for new lawns you plan to turf or sow in the spring.
Trees, shrubs and climbers
Plant or move deciduous woody plants such as trees, shrubs, roses and hedges. Dig them up once the leaves have fallen, and re-plant them.
Add 1m stakes to newly planted trees to keep them stable in the ground for the first few years while the roots take hold.
Look after newly planted trees and shrubs. If the weather is dry give them a good soaking to tide them over.
Plant tulip, hyacinth and lily bulbs.
Protect young and slightly tender plants from cold by adding a deep mulch of bracken or bark chippings over the roots.
Remove dead leaves from the tops of plants.
Vegetables and herbs
Plant garlic, spring onions and spinach as these can all survive the cold weather if you protect them properly with some fleece and a frame
Broad beans are hardy and can be planted out in the elements.
By mid-month dig up carrots and parsnips and store them in the fridge or shed.
Harvest leeks and Brussels sprouts.
- Plant fruit trees, but avoid planting if there's a frost - place roots into moist soil until conditions improve.
- Plant summer-fruiting raspberry canes now so you have delicious fruit to enjoy later in the year.
- Check fruit in store for bruising or other damage, remove anything that is damaged to prevent it spreading to the other fruit.
- Bring potted citrus plants inside for the winter as they won't be able to survive the cold.
- Cut down plants around the pond to 5cm above water level
- Remove and overwinter under glass any tender free-floating plants such as water lettuce and water hyacinth
- Pull out any yellow, dead or dying water lily leaves within reach
- Clear out sludge from small ponds - just use an old flowerpot to scoop out as much as you can reach when you kneel on the edge
Care for nature
For birds, offer much-needed food and water. It’s also a good idea to clean bird baths and drinking water containers every few days.
Scrape droppings and old, discarded food off of bird tables and feeders before you add fresh food.
With a regular cleaning routine, you’ll be helping your visitors to stay healthy.
Clear the last of the fallen leaves
November should see the last of the falling leaves, but it remains just as essential to stay on top of their clear up.
If they cover the lawn completely and aren’t removed, the grass is starved of light and quickly becomes prone to fungal diseases and bare patches.
Garden vacuums and leaf blowers make light work of removing fallen leaves from patios and lawns.