The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Lawn Care Guide – November

The last chance mow

Make sure leaves are cleared off the lawn and if the grass is still growing keep an eye on the weather reports to squeeze in the final mowing for the year – it’s nicer to go through the winter with a neatly finished lawn than one that looks like it needs a haircut.

If you have a rotary mower you can use it to suck up the leaves and, better still, a garden tractor with a sweeper/collector will be just the job.

Monday, 3 November 2014

This Month in your Garden – November

Digging in the compost

Making compost is not only the ideal way to complete the growth and decay cycle, it’s also very satisfying to produce your own fertile mixture to replenish your soil. You can compost any organic waste from the garden and kitchen, mixing in layers with woody material, leaves and grass clippings.

A composter can be a simple wooden construction you might want to build yourself, a composting bin, they come in all shapes, sizes and prices, or even a ComposTumbler, a drum you turn every day for a couple of weeks and out comes rich, fertilising compost.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q.  We had a new lawn laid in September/October and it’s really growing. When should it have a first mow?

The Vegetable Plot – November

Crop rotation for good yields

When you are digging over the vegetable plot give some thought to rotating the planting next year. The same crop should not be grown in the same section year after year as this can result in pests and disease getting a hold and reducing the yield. Divide the plot into sections and plan to grow the same vegetable in one section, then in a different section next year.

Most plans work on four sections and so you might grow cabbages, cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts in one section this year and another section next year. These brassica family vegetables may be preceded by or intercropped with lettuces, radishes and other small salads. It does pay to take a bit of time learning more about rotation.

The Big Glut Recipe – November

A warming sausage and two bean casserole

The simple match of beans, sausages and tomatoes but not in the same tin. Other beans would be flageolet, lima, haricot or butterbeans. The pork sausages can be any you prefer, though Italian or Lincolnshire are good. Serves 4 or halve for two.


  • 150ml/5fl oz olive oil
  • 8 pork sausages 
  • 2 x 400g/14oz tinned cannellini beans
  • 2 x 400g/14oz tinned borlotti beans
  • 4 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed