Gardening Diary November

Remember remember the 5th of November is the day for sowing broad beans but don’t worry if you’ve missed it, any time this month is fine for overwintering varieties such as Aquadulce. Sow them 2ins deep and 9ins apart. If you’re sowing a double row these should be 6ins apart.

This is your last opportunity to sow peas for an early crop next spring. Feltham First and Meteor are probably the most successful varieties and will overwinter most years. These, and the beans, unfortunately need netting nowadays otherwise we’re just feeding the birds and the mice.

Leeks can be earthed up this month to encourage long, white stems and celery and celeriac should be earthed up for protection. Carrots and beetroot are surviving in the ground so far but should really be lifted and stored before the winter sets in.

Fruit trees and bushes can be planted now. It is also time to prune and take hardwood cuttings of apples, cherries, blackberries and currants. Pruning of gooseberries should be left until February to avoid bird damage. Autumn raspberry canes can be cut down and any remaining weak canes of summer raspberries should be removed now and strong, young growth tied in. Top dress and mulch all trees and bushes.

From now on Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips can be harvested but should be left in the ground until needed. If you didn’t cut down the asparagus last month do it now and make sure the ground is weed free.

Rhubarb will benefit from a generous mulch of farmyard manure at this time but take care not to disturb the roots if weeding or forking over the surrounding soil.

Finally, this is a good time to get out there and dig up the weeds and clear overgrown patches.