It's lockdown November so for many stuck at home there is absolutely no excuse not to get on with these key jobs in the garden!
1.Put away the lawn mower.
By November, the weather should be cold enough for the lawn not to need regular cutting, although it usually needs an occasional tidy-up during winter.
Clean the underside by scraping off dried clippings and make sure the collecting bag is empty. If it's a petrol mower, drain off the fuel, as unleaded petrol doesn't store well.
2. Plant tulips
Planting tulips in November won't avoid the fungal disease tulip fire, despite what you may have read elsewhere. However, it is a good time to plant tulips, as they enjoy the cool, moist conditions that are associated with this time of year. Look for bulbs that have intact skins and don't show signs of mould. Tulips should be planted two to three times the depth of the bulb. They can be layered too – don’t worry about them being on top of each other, they ‘ll just find their way around each bulb – the display id Spring will be fabulous!
3. Sharpen secateurs
It's a busy time of year for tidying up, so make the job easier by sharpening your secateurs. Begin by cleaning off any hardened sap with wire wool. Then, use a fine-grade sharpening stone (alternatively, use a sharpening device), hold the secateurs firmly in your hand and sharpen both edges of the cutting blade on anvil secateurs, and only the outer edges of the blades on bypass secateurs. If you don't fancy doing it yourself or you're experiencing other problems with the secateurs, check first as some manufacturers, such as Felco, offer servicing.
All your other tools should be given a bit of tlc too – don’t forget to oil them if they’re not stainless steel to avoid rusting.
4. Order bare-root plants
Save money by ordering bare-root plants, which are usually cheaper than the pot-grown equivalents, by mail order. They are only available in the dormant season, so you need to be quick.
Try to plant them as soon as they arrive. Otherwise, give them a good soak in a bucket of water then roughly plant in a corner of the garden until you're ready to put them in properly.
5. Look After Wild-life
Don't over-tidy your garden. Leave piles of leaves under hedges, make log stacks and pile twigs - the hedgehogs, birds and insects will love it and it will provide safe habitat for over-wintering. Keep your bird feeders topped up and ensure there is ice free water for available for all the wildlife.
Whilst mentioning hedgehogs, make sure there is a gap in your garden fencing or wall to allow these fabulous and, sadly, endangered species, to roam freely from garden to garden. They can travel miles but need this access to allow them to thrive. Leave out cat food and water for them, never milk, as they are lactose intolerant.