When I first started to grow vegetables I really needed information to be in one place, so I could look it up easily. However, I found I had to search for lots of little bits of information, scattered between internet sites and books. It used to take me a long time to find the information I needed.
I thought it would be useful to have this information altogether in one place. So for the benefit of the UK gardeners, I write a list of things to be done each month and any useful information I can think of.
It is worth remembering that different parts of the UK have different weather conditions e.g. the last frost is expected earlier in the south than the north. Therefore, this is a general guide.
Vegetables and salads to harvest:
Kale, celeriac, parsnips (parsnips taste sweeter after a good hard frost though), swede, carrots, red and white cabbages, Brussels tops, Jerusalem artichokes, winter spinach, kohl rabi’s, oriental salads (if they have been given protection), cauliflowers, turnips, Swiss chard, celery, leeks, radish, land cress, corn salad, rocket.
Fruit to harvest:
Autumn raspberries may still be producing if there haven’t been any hard frosts. There may still be time to pick the last of your late season apples too.
Vegetables and salads to sow:
Over wintering broad beans e.g. Aquadulce.
Things to plant:
Garlic. Rhubarb, bare-rooted fruit trees and fruit bushes before the ground becomes too wet.
Jobs to do:
Remove old plant debris and weeds and dig in compost, manure or leaf mould if your ground needs it. If you operate a ‘no-dig’ system, just spread it over the top so the worms will do the work for you.
Cover late crops with cloches, i.e. oriental leaves.
Add lime to your soil if it needs it, before the ground becomes too wet (to increase the PH of your soil). Don’t add lime at the same time as your manure, as they will chemically react with each other.
Add all the old plant debris to your compost heap as long as it’s not diseased.
Cover areas that have been cleared if you can, to stop the rain from leaching the nutrients out of your soil over the winter.
Mulch celeriac and globe artichokes with straw to stop any frost damage.
Bend a few leaves over on your cauliflowers to protect them from frost.
Weed around your fruit trees and bushes and remove fruit cages so the birds can pick off any insects or eggs on them.
As the fruit trees and fruit bushes become dormant, it is time to start to prune them (except cherries and plums). Remove any dead or diseased branches first.
Catch up with jobs that you didn’t get time to do in the summer e.g. painting your shed, making a new compost heap etc.
Collect leaves to make leaf mould.
Continue to fill a trench with all your old peelings, where you will be planting runner beans next year. This will help retain the moisture in those long hot summers (the ones we dream of).
Plant remaining daffodil bulbs and start to plant tulip bulbs.
Plan what you will be growing next year and enjoy reading through seed catalogues and ordering your seeds.
November pests and diseases:
Remove yellow leaves from brassica’s as this can encourage grey mould.
Whitefly can still be a problem on brassica’s, so either squash them between your fingers or spray them.
Pigeons get hungry at this time of year, so make sure you net your brassica’s.
Watch out for mice as they like to eat your newly planted broad bean seeds, garlic and over wintering onion sets.
Check your stored produce for rot, so it doesn’t spread.
Remove rotten fruit that may still be hanging on your fruit trees.
Fit grease bands or paint on fruit tree grease, if you didn’t do it last month, to stop the winter moth climbing up and laying its eggs.
I hope this information has been helpful.
It’s the last day of my ‘Pumpkin week’ and today is the last of my recipes to use up the pumpkin that you scooped out of your halloween lanterns:
Pumpkin, Raisin and Orange Muffins
600g self-raising flour
220g soft brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
400g pumpkin puree
150ml sunflower oil
The zest of 3 oranges
200ml of orange juice
A sprinkling of muscovado sugar for the top of each muffin
Preheat your oven Gas mark 5 / 375F / 190C
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and sugar into large bowl and stir in the raisins.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs and then mix in the pumpkin, oil, orange zest and juice.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until there is no flour visible. There will be still lots of lumps left (this is the secret of good sized muffins.
Half fill muffin cases with the mixture and sprinkle each muffin with a little muscavado sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes until the cakes are firm to the touch and golden brown.
Thank you for reading my blog today.