Usually November means the hard frosts have started and it’s time to harvest winter cabbages and cauliflowers. The Brussels sprouts should be starting.
Leeks should be about ready, just take what you need and leave the rest to stand until required. You could still be harvesting celery and celeriac, kale and kohl rabi as well as turnips, swedes and spinach.
The carrots should come up for storage now, either in peat or sand or even a traditional clamp.
Parsnips will stay in the ground but if the weather turns really cold, you need to cover them or you will not be able to take them from frozen ground.
It’s worth checking any vegetables you have in store and removing anything that has started to rot before it spreads. Potatoes especially need to be checked and watch out for slugs that have emerged from a potato to go and damage another one.
General Jobs on plot
Digging can continue, when weather allows. Particularly with clay soils, digging when the soil is wet and sticky can do more harm than good. It’s also more hard work.
As with October, as ground becomes vacant, you can dig it over and spread manure over the surface. Leave the soil roughly dug in large clumps and the worms will break these up as they get the manure. The freezing and thawing of water in the soil will cause the soil to break up finely so becoming easier to handle in the spring.
October and November are good months to undertake double digging, incorporating manure into the bottom of the trench and deepening your topsoil.
Ensure compost bins are covered to prevent excess rain leaching the nutrients and to keep some of the heat of decomposition in.
Sowing, Planting and Cultivating
Time to plant your garlic cloves now. They actually benefit from a period of cold, which prompts growth later.
Apples and pears can still be available as are autumn fruiting raspberries. As with October, November is a good month to attend to the raspberries, blackberries etc. It’s also a good time to plant new canes.
Check any young trees are well supported with stakes and ties.
You can prune your apple and pear trees now.