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Gardener's Diary


In association with the Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK's leading gardening charity dedicated to advancing horticulture and promoting good gardening.

Their goal is to help people share a passion for plants, to encourage excellence in horticulture and inspire all those with an interest in gardening.

In this section on Laterlife they share their expertise to provide your Jobs for the Month - making sure that your garden is ready for the season ahead.

Find out more about how to become a member of the RHS

Jobs to do in November

Winter is on its way

Top 10 jobs this month

Leaves are falling rapidly, and wind and rain are on the increase. Tender plants (such as bananas) will need protecting from frost, gales and freezing rains. Move plants into the greenhouse, or into a sheltered spot, but if you can't, it is worth wrapping plants or pots in situ. Remember winter can be a tough time for birds in terms of water and food, so keep supplies well topped up.


  • Clear up fallen leaves - especialluy from lawns, ponds and beds

  • Raise containers on to pot feet to prevent waterlogging

  • Plant tulip bulbs for a spring display next year

  • Prune roses to prevent wind-rock

  • Plant out winter bedding

  • Cover brassicas with netting if pigeons are a problem

  • Insulate outdoor containers from frost - bubblewrap works well

  • Stop winter moth damage to fruit trees using grease bands around the trunks

  • Put out bird food to encourage winter birds into the garden

  • Use a seasonal bonfire - where this is allowed - to dispose of excess debris unfit for composting

Planting time

Top tips

This month is perfect for planting new fruit trees and bushes, but only if the ground is not frosted or too wet. Dig over, and weed, vacant areas of the vegetable plot incorporating well-rotted organic matter.

Sowing and planting


  • Take delivery of and plant new fruit trees and bushes. Don't plant if the ground is frosted or too wet.


  • Dig up chicory roots to be forced. Pot them up after removing foliage and position them in a dark warm place. The tasty chicons will appear in three to six weeks.

  • Sow over wintering broad beans (mild areas only) outside or under cloches where the soil is well drained, or in pots in an unheated greenhouse in cold districts.

  • Plant garlic cloves in modules inside a cold frame, or outdoors in mild areas in its final position (free-draining soils and low rainfall areas only).

Pruning and training


  • Thin out congested spurs on restricted fruit trees.

  • Tie in new tiers of espaliers.

  • Prune apples, pears, quinces and medlars.

  • Prune red and white currants and gooseberries.


  • Protect new sowings and crops still in the ground from mice.

  • Protect brassicas from pigeons using cloches, netting or fleece.

  • Remove any yellowed leaves on Brussels sprouts and other brassicas. This will prevent the development of grey mould and brassica downy mildew.

  • Remove all remaining plant debris from the vegetable plot. Do not compost any diseased material.

  • Deal with rodent damage on any stored fruits and nuts.

  • Remove any rotten stored fruit.

  • Deal with apple and pear canker.

  • Deal with bitter pit in stored apples.

General care


  • Parsnips can be left in the ground until needed, or lifted and then buried in a shallow trench for easy access when needed. They taste better when frosted.

  • Celeriac can also be left in the ground for a bit, but do protect them from the cold with a thick mulch of straw, bracken, or other suitable material.

  • Stake any Brussels sprouts stalks that look leggy and vulnerable to wind rock.

  • Clean and store bamboo canes in the shed or other dry place to ensure they're still in good condition for next year.

  • Dig over, incorporating well-rotted organic matter if available and weed vacant areas of the vegetable plot.

  • Now is a good time to get ahead and prepare new asparagus beds for planting up in the spring.

  • Order seed catalogues for next year, if you haven't already done so.



The Royal Horticultural Society

Want more Gardening tips?
Why not view the Royal Horticultural Society's website.

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