Lawn Jobs

November is almost certainly the last time you will be able to cut the grass, leave the mower set on high to avoid "scalping" the grass.

Throughout the winter, from December onwards, stay off the grass, especially if it is sodden.

Hedges in November

Once the leaves have fallen off you will be able to see where you need to do any major surgery on your hedges.

Use a chain saw on a pole, or a rope operated lopper to take off branches from ground level. Be careful not to stand where your branches will fall.

Use loppers or a pruning saw to remove branches that will go through your electric chipper to make mulch. Wear googles and thick gloves to protect hands and eyes from flying thorns and splinters.

Put the wood chippings in a quiet corner of the yard over the winter and you can use them for mulch next spring, when they have started to rot down.

Leave whole branches behind the shed to dry out. They are full of sap and will not burn. These are the branches you will be cutting up for firewood next September.

Roses in November and December

Cut back all your roses to an outward facing bud. Any diseased prunings should go in your trash. Healthy ones should be left to dry out with the tree branches behind the shed. They are too flexible to go through the chipper just yet.

Put down a spade full of horse manure around each rose bush, or a trowel full of bone meal or Blood fish and bone fertilizer. Applying slow-release fertilizer in early winter allows the nutrients to dissolve and be adsorbed by the clay particles in the soil, ready to be released into the soil water table when your roses need those nutrients in the spring.

Soft fruit in November

Cut back any late-fruiting raspberry canes to ground level. More will come up, like weeds next year.

Tidy up loganberry climbers, but avoid pruning too aggressively.

November and December Vegetable Jobs

Check any stored vegetables and green tomatoes that you put away in September.

Pick any spinach as soon as you have enough to use.

If your broccoli survived the caterpillars' onslaught then pick the florets as soon as they are big enough to eat. Wash them in salt water to get any caterpillars to come out.

Start picking leeks as you need them, either for soup or as a vegetable

Shrubs – November Jobs

Cut out any old, hard wood stems that are overcrowded or crossing over from shrubs like Weigela, flowering currant and buddleia.

Cut hypericum shrubs back by about a third to encourage new growth in the spring

Annuals – November and December Jobs

Leave a few seed heads for the birds. Compost most of your dead annuals. Burn weeds, or throw them in the trash.

Start looking through seed cataogues, ready for next spring

General November and December Garden Jobs

Sweep up the last of any fallen leaves, especially from the grass. The grass needs as much light as it can get through the winter and leaves will kill it off and allow moss to take hold

The compost heap will need turning twice more before the spring, once before Christmas and once in late winter. Turning it makes sure that the bacteria needed to break it down get plenty of oxygen.

On dry days, take out your handsaw and saw up some of last year's tree branches for firewood.

Keep the garden tidy and pull up any large weeds that do not die down.

Feed the birds using seed and nut feeders. You need those birds to survive and breed next spring so they will eat all your greenfly.

Check you did everyything thatwas due to be done in October.