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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 2 November 2020

The Vegetable Plot - November

 Dig that!

An old gardener (he was in his nineties) interviewed in a well-known TV gardening programme said, “always use a spade, son, that’s what my old dad used to say”. True, when you are digging your vegetable plot. If the ground has not been dug before or is very hard, use the double-digging technique. 

You use a spade to dig a trench to a spade depth. OK, you need a full-size garden fork, because you want to fork the bottom of the trench to a fork depth. Dig another trench parallel to the first and turn the soil from the first trench into it. Dig the next and so on until the plot is fully dug over. 

The same applies to any bed where the ground is really hard. It’s going to warm you up on a cold day but worth it. In previously dug beds use a spade to turn the soil and leave it rough if you’re not planting until spring. The winter frosts will break it down as we said in the introduction. 

If your subsoil is heavy clay you do need to use a fork to break it up. Light, sandy loam is best left until spring before digging otherwise it loses too much moisture. 

  • Enjoy your runner beans, courgettes, marrows and sweet corn this month
  • Compost what’s left of the half-hardy vegetables that you don’t need
  • Use your matured compost to dig goodness into your soil 
  • Keep off dug areas until spring planting
  • Keep hoeing weeds
  • Plant fruit trees and bushes
  • Try planting standards of apples, pears, plums, and cherries
  • Sow autumn broad beans for early cropping in spring

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