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Site last updated on 24 July, 2020
November Calendar (Courtesy of the ‘Sunday Gardener’)
Prepare the veg plot for next year by clearing, weeding, removing stones and debris from the year.
After clearing spread the plot with well-rotted manure or organic matter for the winter it's a good idea to cover the plot with plastic to prevent any weed growth after the hard work of clearing it and this will serve to warm the soil up a little in the spring when you are ready to plant again.
If you have grown beans and peas this year and are clearing the veg plot, you can simply cut down the stems and leave the plants in the ground as they are rich in nitrogen and will improve the soil over winter.
If you like your lawn it is worth taking the time to rake up the leaves. This task can seem pointless, especially as there are often more leaves to come, but piles of leaves spoil the lawn. They cut out the light and will cause the grass underneath to go brown and unsightly.
Make leaf mould
If you do rake up the leaves consider saving the leaves to make leaf mould which is a great garden mulch. It is easy to make a pen, put 4 corner stakes into the ground and just use chicken wire and wrap it around the stakes. Rake up and pile the leaves in, they will rot down over the gardening year ready to spread on borders as mulch following winter/spring. You can tell when the leaf mould is ready as it becomes well-rotted, and crumbly. If you have no space for a leaf mould bin, you can store leaves in bin bags but it is essential to put holes in to allow the air and drainage otherwise it will become a slimy mess.
You can plant Autumn Garlic now and it is a very easy crop to grow. Garlic planted in the Autumn has the benefit of cold months which is said to improve the bulb formation and a longer growing season. If your plot tends to be on the wet side, or particularly cold or exposed, you may find it better to plant Autumn Garlic under glass or in a greenhouse.
Overwintering plants can be a good way to save money and to have a more established plant for next spring. Some plants are not hardy enough to survive the winter outside and need frost protection.
Some plants need frost protection to survive and so need to be in a conservatory or unheated porch for the winter, other plants, the more tender, will only survive under glass if the greenhouse is heated. These are frost tender and include Pelargoniums (known as Geraniums) Fuchsias, Cannas and Dahlias. Other plants are more hardy but need some protection, particularly if your plot is exposed and will survive in an unheated greenhouse such as Chrysanthemums, lemons and other citrus, Bays, Olive, Salvias, Agapanthus and French Lavenders.
If you are overwintering plants such as Pelargonium and Fuchsias in the green house, open the doors and vents on mild days to try and reduce (Grey mould) Botrytis which often arises in damp conditions. A good tip is to raise the plants up on a simple trestle made from bricks to increase the air flow around the plants as in the image above.
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