November 01 2022

Head Gardeners’ tips
November 2022

Ashley Edwards - Head Gardener, London & South East

Whilst the wet and wintry weather may not feel all that inviting your plants, body and mind will all benefit every time you brave those chilly November days.

With the weather taking a wintry turn, Head Gardener Ashley has all the advice you need to keep your flowerbeds, greenhouses, veg patch and houseplants happy and healthy.

November is generally a time of year when winter really begins to hit. If you live outside of urban areas, you may even experience the first frost of the year.

In the Garden

It’s not too late to get spring flowering bulbs in the ground, especially tulips. Tulips are less likely to get tulip fire, a virus carried in the soil, if planted in cooler temperatures. You can also pick up some good bargains from retailers who try and shift their bulbs before the year ends. Bulb planting always helps me to think forward to spring and the beauty that is to come, a tonic for those dark and dreary winter days.

You may want to cut back plants that have collapsed in heavy rains. It’s important not to cut everything back at once as it is a haven for many invertebrates during the cold months. Seedheads will often provide an important food source for birds too.

Now is a great time to start planting trees. You can plant bare rooted specimens and they will spend the autumn/winter establishing a good root system.

If you haven’t already, move tender plants indoors, or take cuttings before frost hits.


In the Greenhouse

Be cautious when watering! Plants won’t be taking up nearly as much water as in the summer months and overwatering will encourage fungal disease and rot. If you have succulents or cacti, best to not water them at all over winter and resume in spring.

Wash the windows of your greenhouse to allow maximum light in. Algae can build up and block sunlight that your plants will need as the days become shorter.

Cuttings taken at the end of summer may have rooted and need repotting. Giving them the extra space to grow will make them strong for planting out in spring. We have lots of scented Pelargoniums and Salvia cuttings ready to go into their next pot size.


In the Veg Patch

Although you won’t be harvesting nearly as much as in the summer months, you can still have a supply of fresh greens, especially if you use frost fleece or polytunnels. Choose hardy varieties of your favourite salad leaves. Corn salad, or lamb’s lettuce are both reliable. If you’ve missed sowing them in early autumn, you can usually find plug plants from your local nursery.

Consider sowing green manure on your plot if you haven’t done so already. The plants will prevent nutrients being washed away by heavy winter rains, and then can be dug in to provide compost your vegetables next year.

If you don’t have an outdoor growing space, you can grow microgreens on your windowsill. Spinach, Mustard Greens and Chinese leaf are all reliable and will provide a harvest in just a few weeks’ time.



Houseplants suffer when we switch on our central heating. Many are from regions where the air is thick and humid. Use a spray bottle to mist your houseplants daily, or more if you have the time. You could also move them to the bathroom, if it’s light enough, to enjoy the humidity from your bath/shower.

Unlike plants outdoors, many houseplants will continue to grow. They may still need liquid feed, but half the amount if they are slowing down. It’s easy to overwater, so consider reducing the amount you are giving your plants to avoid root rot or fungus gnats.

As the hours and intensity of daylight reduces, move your plants closer to windows if you can, but make sure not to trap them behind curtains on windowsills where cold air accumulates.



As the dark evenings draw in, it can be a real effort to drag yourself out. The wind and rain don’t help. However, spending just 15 minutes a day outdoors can seriously boost your wellbeing and can reduce stress levels. No matter how grim it may look, wrap up warm, dig out your waterproof, take a hot flask of something, and embrace the winter elements. You’ll feel better for it!

We’re hope you’re embracing the elements as we speak!

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