As the colder months draw in ensure your garden is winter ready / Photocredit: Pixabay
As the colder months draw in ensure your garden is winter ready / Photocredit: Pixabay

Sowing and planting

Bulbs should preferably be planted earlier in autumn, but there is still time this November for tulips, daffodils and crocuses. These bulbs can be planted through to the end of the month if the weather is mild before the soil loses the heat from the summer months. Tulips thrive in colder soil and hence November is better for these, and you can avoid tulip fire.

Have a little tidy - prune, cut back and divide

November is your time for soil preparation. Soil can easily be damaged so make sure you dig up any unwanted plants and turn over your soil while it still contains some summer heat.

Protect any bare patches of soil with mulch, compost, leaf mould or even plastic sheeting. This will make the soil easy to plant or sow into next spring. Because we grow on a large scale, we do use landscape fabric and it is so good at keeping the weeds at bay.

All annuals should have been removed now ready for next year. Sad, I know.

Don’t be too harsh with cutting back as these plants provide habitats for wildlife and doing this in the Spring is fine too.

It is still a good time to lift and divide overgrown clumps of herbaceous perennials. Do cut back the yellowing foliage of herbaceous perennial plants, and lift and divide overcrowded clumps to maintain their vigour.

Leaf Mould

A good purchase for collecting leaves are leaf hands– so useful.

Leaves can be found in most gardens and are, perfect for adding to both mulch and compost once your leaf pile has transformed into mould. So how to make Mould?

Firstly, separate your leaves and keep them in a garden container, bag or create a heap in a corner of your garden. Here at Field Gate we have built a little structure with four posts and chicken wire – great for the pile of leaves.

The bacteria that break the leaves down to mould needs oxygen to work, so make sure if you are collecting in a bag, you puncture it.

Plant protection

Most plants are fine in the UK winter but do watch things like ferns.

Protect plants that are borderline hardy, such as agapanthus, with a thick mulch of straw or garden compost.

If leaving dahlias in the ground be sure to cover them with a thick layer of compost. We have in the past used carpet and straw but feel this may have encouraged slugs but better than losing the dahlias.

Root cuttings can be taken now and throughout the winter. Papaver (perennial poppies), Verbascum (mullein) and Phlox are suitable examples.


Apply an autumn mulch to protect plants that are borderline hardy such as Agapanthus, Kniphofia and Phygelius. The plants’ own leaves, e.g. Kniphofia, can be tied up and used as protection for the crowns underneath. Clay soils can be more workable in autumn, as they are no longer baked hard, but not yet sodden and sticky with winter wet, mulching will help to improve and maintain soil structure.

Plant Bare Root Roses

Now's the time to plant bare-rooted roses, trees and shrubs. Plants are entering their winter dormancy and can be planted now and left to establish over the winter before bursting into life again next Spring.

We do have a Masterclass available on roses. It covers the following: -

  • Sourcing and planting our top 10 varieties for flowers from June until October.
  • Pruning for stem length, feeding, and dead heading
  • Propagation – increasing your stock.
  • Pests and how to deal with them.
  • Cutting and conditioning roses for a vase

And is available here:

Dahlias -To lift or not lift.

If you are going to lift your dahlia tubers – do so  after the first frost, clean them off and store in dry compost in a cool, frost-proof place. Here at Field Gate Flowers, we leave ours in the soil but make sure they are well covered up.

And finally

Relax and indulge in Seed Catalogues

Join our Facebook Group for more flowery stuff, launch of all courses and a lovely community of over 7000 like-minded growers.









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