November Garden To Do List

The garden is now winding down towards its winter dormancy, but this does not mean there is nothing to do in the garden this month.

Your November gardening todo list:

Le Jardin Contemporain // The Contemporary Garden - Barry Watton Garden Designs

Plant tulips

Plant your tulips in the ground now. It is said that the colder conditions of November reduce the risk of your tulips developing tulip ‘fire’, a fungal disease that spoils the appearance of your prized tulips. If you have not yet planted any of your other winter/spring bulbs, do it now – better late than never!


Continue deadheading until the frosts arrive and the foliage is blackened, then cut the stems to the ground. Traditional advice is to lift the tubers, allow them to dry and place them in a low nutrient, potting-style compost in a cool, dry storage area. However, here in Voulême the drainage of the soil and mildness of winters is such that tubers can be left in the ground. In wetter areas lifting the tubers or mulching over them when the ground is dry should provide an effective barrier to heavy winter rain. It is typically rot caused to the tubers by continual wet autumnal/winter weather which causes the demise of dahlias, rather than the winter cold. Lift, or leave, what is your experience?


It is a similar story here. In Voulême we can get away with leaving them in the ground and mulch, as above.

Remove hellebore leaves

Remove all leaves from your Hellebores (with the exception of Helleborus foetidus). The reason for this is two-fold: (1) there is no foliage to obscure the beautiful flowers that appear in winter, and (2) it helps to manage/eradicate the appearance of leaf spot (a fungal disease) from next year’s foliage.

Le Jardin Contemporain // The Contemporary Garden - Barry Watton Garden Designs

Fleece and pack tree ferns and bananas

If you grow your tree ferns and bananas in pots bring them under cover. However, if you leave them in the ground they will need protection from the winter frost and wet.  Wrap tree ferns in horticultural fleece. The crown (the growing point at the centre of this year’s fronds) packed with straw. Banana foliage should be  removed and the stem similarly wrapped, see here.


Early in the month the lawn may still be growing. Keep mowing until growth ceases and continue keeping it clear of leaves. The leaves may either be added to the compost heap, or blown deep into flower beds to allow for decomposition in situ.

Enjoy the autumnal colours

November is the peak month for autumn colour. I shall be taking pictures of the autumn colours and sharing them on Instagram.  I look forward to seeing your pictures also.

If you would like assistance with autumn and winter maintenance of your garden to prepare it for next year, please get in touch here.

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