11. ..November

Kitchen Garden

  • Brassicas: Net brussels sprouts and kale against pigeons.  Cabbage white fly is no longer a threat so fleece is not necessary.  Tall plants may need staking.
  • Raspberries, Blackberries & hybrid berries: November is a good time to prune berry patches. Cut fruited canes of blackberries and loganberries down to ground level.  Add plenty of compost to the soil and 250gr (8oz) per square yard of bonemeal.  Now is also a good time to plant bare raspberry canes in well-manured soil 18-24 inches (45-60cm) apart.
  • Currants: prune currants, and take hardwood cuttings if needed.
  • Grapevines can be pruned after leaf fall and up to the end of December.
  • Cloche cover late-grown parsley will help extend it’s growth.
  • Carrot: protect overwintering carrot by removing foliage and netting down a layer of stray as insulation.
  • Cover late beetroot & carrot with straw or cardboard to keep frost at bay and make them easier to harvest if the ground freezes.
  • Fruit trees: Prune out shoots of apple trees infected with canker.  Prune apple & pear trees from now to early March.  Now is the time to plant bare-rooted fruit trees.


As plots become bare following harvests, dig them over.  This introduces air to the soil and heavy clay soils really benefit from a good turning over in the autumn.  After turning over the soil and picking out any large stones, spread a 2 inch layer of manure to the surface.  You can also direct sown green manure crops to plots that would otherwise be left bare over winter, which will improve soil structure and keep weeds down.


Sow Directly for early spring cropping (April-May harvests)

  • broad bean & hardy peas.  Protect young plants with cloches or horticultural fleece in extended periods of frost or snow.
  • garlic is best planted now as they need a chilling period to grow well.
  • onions & shallot



  • Brussels sprouts: sprouts should be starting to show.  Pick from the bottom of the plant upwards.
  • Leek: harvest every other leek plant in a row, leaving the rest to grow on.
  • Kale, chard, celery, celeriac, kohl rabi, winter cabbage, turnip, swedes, spinach & parsnip can be harvested.


Flower / Ornamental Garden

  • Ornamental Grasses: leave uncut for winter interest & to provide habitat for over-wintering insects.
  • Roses: rose blackspot overwinters on stems and fallen leaves, so remove and dispose (do not compost).
  • Cut back herbaceous perennials & divide congested clumps.  Mulch semi-hardy perennials like salvia.
  • Tulips: Plant tulip bulbs 2-3 times the bulb’s depth.  Layer in pots with smaller bulbs on top.  Protect with wire mesh if squirrels are pests in your garden.
  • Finish planting other spring-flowering bulbs: daffodil, narcissus, grape hyacinth etc.
  • Mulch delicate perennials such as salvia and dahlia with a thick layer of compost to insulate against frost.
  • Some herbaceous plants including phloxacanthus and oriental poppies can be propagated now by root cuttings.  Select pencil-thin roots, cut into 2-4 inch lengths with a horizontal cut at the top and an angled cut at the lower end.  Push them into cutting compost so that the horizontal cut is just below the surface; topdress with grit.
  • Lift containers onto bricks to assist drainage.  Protect container plants from frost by wrapping in bubble wrap in cold spells.
  • Trees: Plant trees, shrubs, roses (bare rooted or container grown).  From now until February is the time to prune most deciduous trees such as Acer (Maple) species.  This is to avoid sap loss if pruning is done in spring (which should be avoided).
  • Trees with shiny winter bark such as birch can be gently wiped clean with water.
  • Alpines: add grit around their collars to help protect against rot.  Remove leaves from around the plants.  (Alpines need to stay in well drained conditions).



  • Root Cuttings:  Take root cuttings from late autumn, to be placed in a cold frame.  If you have phlox or anemone now is a good time to propagate by root cuttings.
  • Take hard wood cuttings: red and white currant, roses…  For red & white currant bushes, take cuttings 12 inches long; remove all buds except the top 3 or 4 to ensure bare stems.



  • Clean birdbaths, removing fallen leaves and twigs and ensuring the water is clear.
  • Leave rotted fruit out for birds and wildlife.
  • Remove leaves that have fallen into the pond.
  • Leave ornamental grasses uncut to provide protection for overwintering insects.


November 2019:  

  • We planted Giant Elephant & Germidour Softnecked Garlic (Sat 9 Nov) [We lifted the crop in early June 2020.]
  • Harvested yellow raspberries which were still sweet to eat; pink cosmos still in flower (9 Nov 2019)
  • Harvested Swiss chard & purple curly kale on Saturday 9 November 2019.

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