So many Gardeners think November is the month to shut up shop when it comes to the garden and head for the warmth in doors, but if you do you’ll be missing out. Get yourself wrapped up and head out to see the garden delights in the low sun this time of year. Gardening is a wonderfully relaxing activity because it releases tension and as a result, reduces the amount of circulating stress hormones in the body, while the act of cultivation itself is soothing for the soul. I find that I can lose hours pottering about in the garden this time of year.There’s plenty to be doing this month. Here’s my top ten.
1. November is the month for ground work for the Spring ahead and working on any structural changes to your garden or allotment and improving its design.
2. This is the ideal time to dig over all the beds, improve the soil and sort out any unruly areas.
3. Collect up fallen leaves and store in hessian sacks. Next year they will be lovely compost. Net ponds to avoid leaves falling in.
4. The ideal month is November for planting tulip bulbs to provide plenty of colour in the Spring. Plant them in pots covered in gravel to keep them safe from squirrels.
5. Many would not consider November a month for planting, but now is the ideal time for preparing your early crops of peas and beans. Seeds sown now whilst the ground is still warm and with rain will germinate before the worst of the winter weather hits us. Cover young plants with a cloche and if it is particularly cold use a fleece too.
6. Heathers add colour this time of year. Take a visit to your garden centre and see the colour variety on offer.
7. November is the month for harvesting beetroot, celeriac and carrots. When harvesting divide into two piles – one for good sized crops and a pile for damaged. Any damaged ones are great for chopping up and using in soups.
8. Move your herbs by your kitchen door so that you have a handy supply during winter. If you have herbs growing in your borders, transfer some to a window box or pot to keep a supply of mint, chives, fennel and oregano close by to where you cook.
9. This month, cleaning is key – greenhouses, cloches, pots and polythene tunnels to remove dirt and any fungal spores.
10. Plant any onions and garlics. A handy tip is to snip the ends to make it more difficult for the birds to pull them out.
-- Rob Amey