This month is a quiet time in the garden, with short cold days & long often frosty nights. Due to the dropping temperature & lower light levels, November often tends to be foggy, as well as cold & wet. Most plants are now dormant & require little attention, but now is an ideal time to split up herbaceous perennials. But there are some tasks that never go away, such as raking up fallen leaves, digging the ground over for next years planting, do this when there is a suitable break in the weather. This is an ideal time to start off your runner bean trench , dig this out and fill it with compost & kitchen waste over the Winter, this will provide good soil conditions for the plants and help retain moisture when they are growing next year. This month we can also expect some strong winds, so check all those stakes & ties on your trees and shrubs, this will greatly improve the look of the garden, while carrying out these checks, inspect your fences the odd nail or screw now most probably will prevent a whole panel being blown down. This month is a perfect time to plant bare rooted & container grown trees & shrubs. With bare rooted stock, if the ground is frozen, just dig a trench & heel them in, with container grown stock put under cover, until the weather improves. Fruit canes, fruit bushes rhubarb & strawberries can be planted out, weather permitting! Any plants in the greenhouse may still need an occasional watering, unless you heat your greenhouse the air is likely to be damp & cold, a perfect environment for fungal diseases to spread, ventilation is important, balancing out requirements between fresh air , draughts & sudden frosts. If you do not have too much in your greenhouse, now is a good time to wash down all the glass, inside & out, with the glass clean give the staging and the path a good watering of diluted Jeyes fluid, this will kill off any overwintering bugs and diseases. Keep filling up the compost bin with alternate layers of soft & fibrous material, also adding torn plain cardboard, this makes good compost, if possible the compost will greatly benefit from being occasional turned. Do not be tempted to add fallen leaves as these take an awful long time to break down. On the subject of fallen leaves, if you intend burning these, take two things into account, firstly that there are no hedgehogs hibernating in the pile , especially around November the 5th!, secondly, check your local bylaws for the rules governing the burning of waste. Try and keep some water unfrozen in the garden, these are hard times for the birds. For a really early crop of broad beans, start them off now, in pots, under glass then later to a cold frame before planting out. If you have grape vines , once the leaves have fallen they can be pruned back, over the course of the next few months, do this now, if you leave it until next year, they may bleed sap profusely. Also with these plants, they can greatly benefit from having all the old bark scraped off , this will remove any hiding places for overwintering pests. Do not forget to insulate your outdoor tap against freezing , wrap with “bubblewrap” & cable ties, simple! It beats fiddling around on a freezing cold day with coldwater! Outdoor containers also benefit from being wrapped in “bubblewrap” too, also lifting them off the ground and placing on feet greatly helps.