Pippa Greenwood: Haxnicks Gardening Tips for November•
Posted on 3 November 2020
Did you think that November tips would start with flowers? Well it does - sweetpeas to be precise. here are my gardening tips for November.
What’s not to like about sweetpeas? Their fantastic colour, from delicate pastel to richest shades. Their phenomenal perfume…and the fact that they’re well-loved by bees and easy to grow. All this makes them one of my favourite annuals to raise from seed. The seed can be sown in spring but by sowing the seed now you should end up with sturdier, slightly earlier flowering plants. Take a bit of time choosing the seed you buy as there are subtle differences in frilliness of the petals and size of the blooms. There can be really noticeable difference in the levels of perfume too. It’s all down to personal preference, but do read the descriptions! I always sow the seed into RootTrainers as the combination of the channels in each cell and the root pruning effect always produces great, really well-developed root balls. This makes it easy to transplant without disturbance and gives great establishment. Just make sure you keep the clear plastic lid on the top of the RootTrainers in place as mice do seem to be very fond of sweetpea seeds!
As you clear away the last of the remains of this year’s summer and early autumn crops from the veg plot or allotment, I thoroughly recommend taking a note pad and pencil with you. Too chilly for sketching BUT definitely worth making a note of what you grew where. Its all too easy to assume you’ll remember these details. Then come the spring, all too easy to find yourself ever so slightly uncertain. I never carry out a classic, text book rotation plan on my plot. However, I do avoid growing the same thing or something closely related on any one patch of ground next year. If you think you’ll not be able to find the notes when the time comes next year, just take a photo of your scribblings!
If the soil isn’t too wet in your garden or allotment then there’s still time to plant some onion sets or garlic. I grow my garlic on ridges of soil about 15cm tall. This ensures that, even in a wet winter the developing crop doesn’t get too damp. As soon as the onion sets or individual garlic cloves are in the ground I cover them with net tunnels. The whispy tops to the sets seem to be just too tempting for local birds who pull them out, then fling them onto the soil surface. If you want to find out why they do this then check out our Exploring the Rhizosphere blog. Whatever their reasons, its infuriating because you then have to keep re-planting them. But cover with the Easy Net Tunnel and the birds can’t cause grief. Then once the onions and garlic are rooted you can remove the tunnel and put it to good use elsewhere. Hope you find these gardening tips for November helpful and enjoy your time in the garden.
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