What to do in the vegetable garden in NOVEMBER – by Geoff Hodge and Miracle-gro

growing veg

The thought of what to do in the vegetable garden in November can be a little bit daunting. However, indications are that this November the weather is going to be drier than usual with temperatures near to average. This means that, as long as you wrap up warm, there should be plenty of great opportunities for tidying up, planting and generally getting the garden ready for winter. If you need to keep warm, then get on with some gentle digging – but don’t overdo it or you could end up with a bad back!

Vegetables

There’s still time to sow an overwintering broad bean, such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia’, for an early crop next year. Cover the soil and developing young plants with fleece or, better still, cloches to provide protection from cold, frost and pigeons.

It may be better to sow them in small pots or cell trays and then plant out the young plants when they’ve grown on.

Radishes, mustard, cress, cut-and-come-again salad leaves and winter lettuces can be sown in Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Giant Planters in a greenhouse or in pots of Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own Vegetable & Fruit Enriched Compost kept on a light windowsill or in a conservatory.

This is a good time to get ahead and prepare new asparagus beds for planting in the spring. Plenty of added organic matter and even grit will help to improve drainage on heavy, clay soils – vital for good crops.

November is the best month to plant garlic, but make sure it is a variety suitable for autumn planting.

Topical tip

Make your sowing plans and order your vegetable seeds now. When the seeds arrive, you could make a seed organiser, divided into sowing months to help you remember to sow at the right time.
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Fruit

 

Now’s the perfect time to plant all new fruit trees, bushes and canes. The soil will still be quite warm, and the roots of new plants will benefit from this. This is particularly important for peaches and nectarines.

Make sure the soil is well prepared with plenty of organic matter – such as Levington Organic Blend Soil Conditioner, Levington Organic Blend Farmyard Manure or Levington Rose, Tree & Shrub Compost. Mix in more organic matter plus Miracle-Gro Bone Meal Natural Root Builder with the soil dug out from the planting hole.

Always plant at the same depth that the plant was originally growing, firm the soil around the roots and water in well.

Trees will need to be staked with a good tree stake and secured with two tree ties.

After planting, mulch the soil around fruit trees and bushes with a 5-7.5cm (2-3in) thick layer of Levington Water Saving Decorative Bark or Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Decorative Pine Bark to help keep weeds down and maintain soil moisture levels in spring and summer.

You can prune red and white currants and gooseberries by cutting back main branches by half to three-quarters and sideshoots to one to three buds from their base.

Topical tip

Rabbits, deer and squirrels can be a problem at this time of year, gnawing the bark of fruit trees. Protect trees by wrapping their stems in plastic tree protectors.


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