Thursday 5 November 2015

Top 20 Vegetable Gardening Tips for November

Gosh, November already but close your eyes and with temperatures over the weekend hovering round 20ºC you'd think it was summer not late autumn.  Open your eyes though and you'll see it is just Nature playing games with us and autumn will in fact soon be stepping aside to let winter in.

Warm sunshine does not hide the fact that more and more of the trees are now standing bare of their leaves.

Fennel seed heads - food for the birds and no doubt plenty of free seedlings next spring.

Dogwood putting on a glorious show this autumn and more berries for our overwintering birds.  Autumn has been very kind to them this year.

This marjoram has taken advantage of the lovely weather to flower again but this late in the year there were no butterflies, only bees to feed on it's nectar.  I did however see a Brimstone butterfly earlier this week.

Since the weekend we have had more warm weather but when I went to put the birds to bed just now it was raining gently.  As the weather worsens it is all too easy to ignore the garden but there is still plenty you can be getting on with in November.  Here are my top tips for things to do now if you are a fruit or vegetable grower:

Top 20 Vegetable/Fruit Gardening Tips for November


  • Sow broad beans if your garden is not too exposed and your soil does not become waterlogged over winter
  • Stake tall overwintering brassicas such as purple sprouting broccoli and brussel sprouts
  • Manure areas as you clear them of summer crops then cover to prevent weeds growing.  You can use old carpets, black plastic, thick cardboard or specialist landscape fabric.  The latter is relatively expensive but can be used year after year.  Alternatively dig the manure into cleared areas.
  • Harvest autumn and winter crops - leeks, cabbage, parsnips, late carrots/beetroot, parsley, brussel sprouts, kale etc.
  • Plant new fruit bushes and trees
  • Prune fruit bushes according to type and take hardwood cuttings


  • Continue watering on warm days but only sparingly.  If you can bring a water barrel into the tunnel then the water will be warmer and less of a shock to plants.
  • Clear all finished summer crops
  • Manure/compost the soil
  • Sow broad beans and mangetout. 
  • If you are quick you can plant overwintering onion sets.  In the spring if these are taking up valuable space for other crops simply harvest them as smaller spring onions.
  • Watch out for mice
  • Transplant winter lettuce, spring cabbage, spinach and kale if you have seedlings
  • Harvest what-ever you can. You may still have late tomatoes, peppers, chillies as well as beetroot, oriental greens, lettuce and chard and herbs.


  •  Check stored produce for any signs of rot
  • Give the whole patch an end of year tidy up but remember to leave some rough patches and wood piles etc for wildlife
  • Go through your pots and trays etc - throw out damaged ones, clean others in warm soapy water and store away neatly.
  • Spend a bit of time assessing what grew well and what didn't, trying to work out how to do better next year.
  • Start perusing seed catalogues, planning for next year. 
  • Plant tulips - OK I know that these are not edible but November is the ideal month to plant the bulbs and a few tulip flowers in the veg garden will look fabulous next year.

    So, plenty to be getting on with, especially, if like me, you were away last week.  I was over in England and managed to fit in one rather fabulous garden.  Have you any idea which one?

    Joining in with Annie's How Does Your Garden Grow.  Do head on over to see if other gardeners have been enjoying unseasonally warm weather this week.

    Mammsaurus HDYGG


    1. It's been the same here, cold starts and warm days and berries everywhere ( which my mum informs me is a sign of a long and harsh winter ). My money is on a warm Christmas and a super freezing January, February and March 2016. There weather how it is will make those jobs seem a lot nicer than if it were cold that's for sure!

      No idea on the sculpture, looks very Eden Projecty but I don't *think* you went there so I'll have to wait and see!

      Thanks for joining in again Rosie, love to you and yours (how are 'my' ginger piggies doing?)

      1. I always thought lots of berries meant a hard winter but then there were also lots last winter. The French say if the blackberry stems are long then expect a bad winter too but they are not as ong as last year so who knows.

        The piggies say hi ... one will be making a one way journey to the freezer soon, although the other has a part-reprieve due to lack of freezer space! And a new litter is due any day :)

        As for my mystery sculpture, I am keeping quiet for a bit longer ....

    2. it sounds like here! trees are looking bare however temperatures have definitely risen. and now that you mentioned it, i haven't seen a butterfly in a while. not in miami for sure!

      1. I was out this morning - it looked like autumn with leaves tumbling down on a day of light wind and rain ... yet it was 18ºC (65ºF). Very odd.

    3. Tulips! Love the tip that I should plant bulbs now. You've reminded me that I need to double check all the planting dates for some bulbs I have stored.

      1. It's not too late for other bulbs either - Simon planted some daffodil bulbs in January and they flowered just fine, albeit a bit late this year.

    4. I keep planning to go out and have a tidy up but it's rained for two weeks now! It is quite warm though for this time of year and the hydrangea flowers, geraniums and fuchsias are all still out. I keep wanting to protect them but I'll miss the display if I move them now.

      1. I hope it dries out with you soon. We are due rain next week so really must get on in the garden over the coming few days.

    5. lovely tips there for planting and what to be doing in the garden at this time of year, all i can share with you re my garden in Dubai is water, just water

    6. Aha, thanks or the info on staking my purple sprouting broccoli, hadn't thought of that. And I think you're right, winter will soon be here let's just hope it's as kind as autumn has been #hdygg

      1. Hmmm - I have a sneaky feeling winter may not be quite so kind ...

    7. Wow what great tips! We are relatively newbie gardeners with very small children so are burnt out by September but one year we will keep things going! Our garden is a mess at the moment.

      1. Good luck and any gardening you can do with the children is great for them.


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