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November in the garden: An elaborate to-do-list for all gardening enthusiasts

In November, you will notice that your garden slowly starts to transition into hibernation mode. Plants start withering or shutting down to get through the winter. You will see less and less moving and growing happening outside; winter is clearly making an appearance this month. However, your garden still needs you, and it’s essential to offer enough guidance this month to ensure that your garden will look just as beautiful and healthy in spring as it did a few months ago. You will also notice that there’s still a plethora of ways for you to work on your (vegetable) garden. Read along for valuable tips and advice that will certainly help you!

Planting and sowing

You can still continue planting and sowing various plants and crops in November. Here’s more information about what to add to your (vegetable) garden this month! Note that tillage becomes almost impossible if the ground starts to freeze. Therefore, it is wise not to wait too long before sowing if you want to do so this month.

In your vegetable garden

It's cold and wet outside; nevertheless, you can still sow all kinds of crops in your vegetable garden. Some of these plants can quickly get out of the ground again; others only really pop up in the spring. The main reason for sowing these crops early is the advantage it gives them; the seeds will already be well integrated into the soil and can start growing immediately. This is what you can add to your vegetable garden in November:

  • Broad beans
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as mizuna, mustard or spinach
  • Garlic
  • Garden peas
  • Peppers

Outside of your vegetable garden

Unfortunately, you won't have much to do outside the vegetable garden in November. However, if September and October bring milder weather this year, you can still plant (fruit) trees, hedges and shrubs. Do this when all the leaves have fallen. This allows the roots of these plants to get used to the ground well so that they can make a good and quick start when spring comes around again.


You can still get some crops from your vegetable garden in November. This includes, for example:

  • Ripening sprout varieties
  • Endive
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Chicory
  • Chinese chives
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Black radish
  • Salsify
  • Parsnip
  • Kale
  • Leek

Many of these crops can be planted a little later in the year, so they often ripen until late in the year.

Growing and blooming

Several plants are still blooming in November. This includes flower bulbs as well as perennials. Well-known flower bulbs that still bloom so late in the year are the autumn crocus and the cyclamen. Perennials that are popular late bloomers include autumn aster and hardy fuchsia. Finally, you can still fully enjoy the mahonia, the camellia and the viburnum in November. As you can see, you can still enjoy a beautiful garden full of colour this month!

Pruning and cutting

Fruit trees may be rejuvenated this month as soon as they are completely bare. Pollard willows can now be pollarded, and shrubs and other trees can also be pruned. Ensure it’s not freezing or has rained a lot in recent days to prevent frozen pruning wounds and infections.

Annual plants that have died can be cut to just above the ground. Use the organic waste as mulch material. Please don’t do this with perennials, though, as they need their own organic waste to protect themselves in this way. The organic waste from these plants will naturally end up on the ground and be incorporated into the soil.

You probably won't need to mow your lawn in November unless the weather’s still very good this month.

Caring for your garden

There is a good chance that it will already start freezing in November. You can see the traces of night frost in your garden the following day. It is vital that you do not walk on your lawn when it is frozen; there is a good chance that doing this will cause brown spots to show up in the spring.

Be extra wary of first night frost occurrences when it comes to your outside potted plants. Roots are much less well protected in a pot than in full soil, which means even hardy plants can crack under a cold night. Take smaller pots indoors and wrap large pots and containers in bubble wrap over the winter.

Spit the vegetable garden this month. Add organic matter and possibly some extra calcium to the soil, leaving raw chunks.

Finally, it is (still) necessary to keep your pond clean. If there are trees or shrubs nearby, chances are many loose leaves will end up in the water, which can then rot, resulting in a deterioration of the water quality. Don't forget to break the ice if you notice your pond is frozen.

Garden animals

Do you have extra organic waste, including somewhat coarser material such as prunings? Using some extra leaves, you can make a great leaf pile, which will help all kinds of critters find shelter this winter. Hedgehogs, for example, love these types of heaps and like to hibernate in them. Furthermore, birds not flying south this winter are now looking for a place to hibernate. Make sure your nesting boxes are ready for use, and hang up fat balls and insect cakes. Do not feed the pond fish anymore. They are now going into hibernation.

And finally…

November is a great month to do some maintenance on your garden tools. Thoroughly clean and oil them before putting them away for the winter in a cool, dry place. Do you have any renovation plans? If so, start now, since you won't have to spend so much time on the rest of the garden. A new fence, veranda or terrace? November is the perfect time to get to grips with that finally.