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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.

Monday 4 November 2019

The Vegetable Plot - November

You might be relieved to know if your soil is light, sandy loam, it’s best to leave digging it over until the spring, whereby it won’t lose too much moisture. For those of us where the subsoil is heavy clay then, sorry folks, we’ll need to take a fork to it and turn it, leaving it rough to break down in the frosts.

Where the ground has not been dug for a long time, we’ve talked before about using the double digging technique so here it is again. Use a spade to dig a trench one spade deep then fork the bottom to the depth of the fork. Dig the next trench and turn the soil into the first and so on until the last trench is dug and you use the soil from the first trench to fill it. Keep off the dug area until spring planting.

The other aspect we’ve covered in the vegetable plot is the question of rotation. We don’t have space to go into it in depth and there are indeed many websites that will give you good diagrams on how to rotate your crops. Suffice to say 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. Think about what you want to grow then check the charts for the best rotation.

You can grow fruit, basil lettuce, endive, oregano mint, cress, chicory and many other vegetables anywhere and without such worries. It’s worth looking up the rules on rotation.

  • Winter prune fruit trees and bushes  
  • Force chicory
  • Plant fruit trees and bushes
  • Try planting standards of apples, pears, plums, and cherries
  • Lift some leeks after a good frost and they will store in a shed or cold greenhouse
  • Lift and store Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, horseradish
  • Force rhubarb
  • Sow autumn broad beans for early cropping in spring

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