Things to do on the plot November
Written by Behemoth
Just when you thought you could sit indoors by a roaring fire, Behemoth drags you off to the allotments...
Until mid-November you can sow:
Broad Beans: Make sure it’s a hardy variety such as Aquadulce Claudia. Ready in June.
Garlic: If you have heavy clay soil it may be better to wait to spring as they may rot. Ready in late June/early July.
Shallots: ready early July.
Lift Carrot and Beetroot if you have space for storage.
Tidy up the plot. Put old greenery and yellowing brassicas leaves in
the compost. Collect up canes and put them in your store. If you get
high winds your brassicas may need supporting with stakes.
Protect autumn sowings of salad and oriental greens with a cloche
or some fleece. Not only does it protect them but it also helps keep
Digging: For something so simple there are many words written. Now
is a good time to dig over your plot, particularly if you have a heavy
soil. Remember to not over work yourself. Here’s a few tips:
Keep your spade clean.
Drive the spade in to its full length.
Pull the handle back, levering the soil onto the blade.
Only lift as much as you can comfortably manage.
Bend your knees and elbows avoiding putting strain on your back. Keep it as straight as you can.
Twist the spade over to get air into the soil.
Work backwards so you don’t walk on the soil you’ve already dug.
On raised beds you shouldn’t have compact the soil so they wont
need digging. However they will appreciate a thick layer of compost and
a gentle forking or you can leave the work to the worms.
Hardy winter lettuce – try Valdor.
Garlic cloves in pots to plant out in spring.
Peas – mange tout varieties can be ready by April. Feltham First and Pilot can also be sown. Start them in pots.
Broad beans – Aquadulce type, start them in pots.
You need to keep the air dry now so reduce watering and ventilate
well on warmer days. Remove plants with any sign of grey mould
An extra layer of insulation can make a great difference. Bubble
wrap is a favourite though it does affect light transmission. You can
make a bubble wrap cloche in the poly tunnel or greenhouse if you
Now is a good time to feed the soil, remember it is worked very intensively. Dig in manure or mulch around crops.
Clear up crops coming to an end of their productive lives e.g. peppers and tomatoes.
Now is a good time to prune, white red and black currants. Consult
a good book as trying to tell you here without diagrams is too
difficult. You can use your prunings to propagate new bushes. Take
strong straight shoots, about the dimensions of a pencil, snip the thin
end as well. For blackcurrants push the cutting straight into the soil
leaving only 3 inches showing. For Red currants and gooseberries push
into the ground and leave about half the length showing. For
gooseberries first remove the thorns and shoots.