November 2015

Monday 23rd November

Field Beans growing in bed I returned to the allotment this morning after some more windy weather, it is a frosty but bright morning. I took some home composting materials to the allotment to compost. I then noticed that the new plastic I added to the old greenhouse roof had disappeared ( more Wind), I looked for it but could not find it anywhere. So I added some stronger plastic to the greenhouse roof. Next I harvested some Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, and leeks. before returning home for a nice cup of tea. The image on the right shows my "Field Beans" green manure growing nicely.

Wednesday 18th November

Replaced greenhouse boken glass with perspex I returned to the allotment this morning after a very windy night, it is sunny but still windy but not so strong. I started by digging up some Celeriac which we will be having for dinner tonight. I will also be making a video of the cooking of the celeriac.

I then discovered some wind damage to the newly erected greenhouse, so I spent the rest of the morning replacing the sections of broken glass.

Finally I check the older greenhouse to find the garlic growing nicely. See image on the left. This greenhouse had also lost a section of glass.

Friday 13th November

Replaced greenhouse boken glass with perspex I returned to the allotment this morning, it is sunny with a slight wind. I started working in the old greenhouse. My first job was to remove the raised bed, I did this by removing the compost and saving it in containers to use later in the year. I will resize the timber frame and use it to produce another raised bed out on the allotment. The next part was to give the greenhouse a clean and sweep ready for next year. Finally I removed the broken glass from the greenhouse roof and replaced it with perspex, also adding a perspex roof light that did not have any glass in it. Just as I completed the greenhouse the wind picked up and it started to rain so decided it was time to return home for my elevenses which is a nice cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.

Monday 9th November

A typical November harvestday Back to the allotment this morning, it is still warm and at the moment it is nice and dry. I started by downsizing my Brassica cage. First I removed the butterfly netting as the cabbage butterfly has finished its activities so I will not be effected by them for the rest of the year. My only problem is to protect the Brassica from pigeons, to manage this I used the orange barrier material that is used on building sites to wrap around the area. See image on the left. The next task was to weed the newest strawberry bed due to seed filed compost, it was infected mainly by tomato seed, and there were literally hundreds of small tomato plants growing plus some grass. Then it was time to return home for lunch.

Saturday 7th November

A typical November harvestday Just a quick visit to the allotment this morning as the weather is very damp, and the allotment plot is too wet to do any real outdoor work. As we have visitors today, I had to go to the allotment to harvest some crops for our dinner and a few items for them to take home. The image on the right shows what I had harvest. ( Celeriac, Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, Leeks and some Cabbages)

November

What needs doing this month

Fruit

  • Plant fruit trees and bushes. In inclement weather, store trees in a frost-free shed or heel them in outdoors. Soak dry tree roots before planting. Plant firmly and at the same depth as the trees were in the nursery.
  • Prune trees after planting
  • Complete work on heavy soils
  • Clear weeds from around established trees and bushes.
  • Start winter pruning established trees. BUT NOT cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums or damsons.
  • Check that ties are not cutting bark.
  • Cut out cankers and control woolly aphids.
  • Inspect stored fruit, and ripen pears at room temperature

Vegetables

  • Sow broad beans outdoors for an early crop
  • Continue to remove any yellowing leaves on Brussels Sprouts.
  • Early Savoy Cabbages should now be ready for picking.
  • Pick red cabbages, they will store better in a shed than leaving them in the ground.
  • Check sheds and poly tunnels for wind damage and repair before it gets worse.
  • Protect winter salads like lettuce and endive from wetness by placing cloches over them.
  • Lift Salsify and Cornerstone and place in storage in sand.
  • Get as much winter digging done as possible before the ground becomes too wet.
  • If the soil is well drained, sow round-seeded peas such as Feltham First or Meteor to over-winter in a sheltered position.
  • Lift and split mature clumps of rhubarb. Replant the divided clumps. Any clumps that are not used can be left on top of the ground to be frosted for 2-3 weeks and then potted up in pots and covered with black polythene and kept at a temperature of 45F (7C) to force an early crop in spring.
  • Lift and divide and replant chives. Put a couple of clumps in pots for the kitchen windowsill.
  • Now is a good time to plant grape vines. They need to be planted when dormant but avoid planting in frosty weather.
  • Remove any yellow or dead leaves from brassica. Pick sprouts as they start to crop to prevent them from blowing.
  • Lift roots of chicory for forcing in warmth and darkness.
  • Cut down Globe artichokes and protect the crowns with straw.
  • Work can be started on any empty beds by digging over and incorporating manure if required ready for next spring.
  • Keep Lettuces in frames free of weeds.
  • Lift and store Jerusalem Artichokes in the same way as you would Potatoes.
  • Lift a few roots of Parsnips and Horseradish for use should the ground freeze up.
  • If it is too wet for outside work, take the opportunity to clean up any unused cloches and tools that will not be used again until spring.
  • Place container over Rhubarb and Chicory to force them.

Herbs

  • Clear basil, chervil and dill, also fennel and parsley that has grown for a second season.
  • Cover September sown parsley and chervil with cloches

Greenhouse

  • Restrict ventilation and give careful watering
  • Check heaters regularly
  • Annual greenhouse clean-up campaign
  • Blanch chicory and sea kale
  • Lift rhubarb crowns for forcing
  • Sow lettuce for continuity of supply
  • Prune vines once dormant
  • Ventilate peaches, nectarines and strawberries

General

  • service mechanical machinery ready for spring
  • check the seed catalogues and order any seeds onion sets and plants required
  • check sundries like stakes, bean poles, canes, netting, fertilisers etc..
  • tidy up the shed while its still quite quiet.