We have had a lovely mild start to autumn and our trees are still full of colourful leaves and fruits.
November can be a soggy and dismal month in some parts of the UK but when the sun shines it can be absolutely fantastic. Last year November was a great month for clear blue sky and dramatic autumn colour here in Lancashire. I’m hoping for more of the same this year so that we can spend lots of time in the garden.
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UK Weather in November
Throughout the UK it’s likely that rain will fall on 15 days this month. Atlantic depressions bring low cloud and high rainfall to exposed areas such as Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. These depressions may even bring gales with the south and west of the country bearing the brunt of these weather systems.
The weather tends to be calmer inland and on occasions we may be all lucky and have a lovely bright month. The north can expect around 80 – 90 hours of sunshine this month and southern counties slightly more, perhaps 110 hours in total.
Wherever you live in the UK it’s much cooler in November with daytime temperatures reaching a maximum of 9 ̊C and the average night time temperatures falling to just 5 or 6 ̊C. Only the most north easterly locations in the UK such as Aberdeenshire have snow this month with 5 days of snow falling on average. Elsewhere in the country early morning frost is more likely.
November in the Country Garden
Throughout the UK we have had a lovely mild start to autumn. In many places the usual frosty start to October just did not arrive and many of our trees are still in full leaf. But it’s inevitable that autumn changes will come. We have turned back the clocks, the days are growing shorter, it’s much cooler and wetter. So now is the time to crack on with any last minute tasks clearing up in the garden… collect fallen leaves and make leafmould, tidy the borders and compost the dead foliage then spread a thick mulch of organic material around the plants. It’s the end of the growing season but it’s also the start of preparation for next year. It’s time to prepare new borders, vegetable beds and plant new trees and shrubs
- Tidy your garden before winter sets in. Please remember your garden creatures… they need food and shelter so don’t be too tidy!
- Make a large container out of chicken wire to collect fallen leaves to make leafmould.
- Prune and take hardwood cuttings of your deciduous shrubs such as Buddleja, Cornus and Roses and soft fruit bushes like Gooseberries and Blackcurrants.
- Dig over empty areas and prepare new borders. This is much easier now the ground is moist. Top existing beds with organic matter – well rotted manure or garden compost.
- Plant bare root trees, fruit bushes, shrubs and hedges.
In the greenhouse:
- Sow Hardy Annuals Sweet Peas this month. They will develop super roots over winter and become sturdy vigorous plants much earlier next year. You can also sow Winter Salad Leaves and hardy Broad Beans now.
- November is the last chance to move tender plants under cover. Most will not survive outside. Move your summer pots into the greenhouse or porch to keep them frost free over winter.
- Plant tulip bulbs…groups of 20/30 make a good show so choose big pots and add plenty of grit to the compost.
- Put food out for the birds. They like seeds, nuts, fruit and fat.
- Clean out bird boxes. We always replace ours so small birds have some shelter over winter if they need it.