November is the month tidying up and preparing for winter. Now is the time to clear summer crops both inside your polytunnel/greenhouse and outside those summer crops that have produced.

It’s a time to prepare the garden and or the allotment for the strong winds and poor weather of the winter. Make sure everything in your garden is in a state of good repair and can resist the strong winds that can do it damage. Keep tidying and scrubbing down surfaces and cleaning any pots that didn’t manage to get round to in October.

If you plan to plant anything out at this time year be aware that they grow very slowly and you need to pick hardy varieties of the crop. Broad beans, mangetout peas and early carrots are good options for November if you haven’t planted them out last month. Ideally start the seeds in a large clear plastic storage box in the polytunnel or greenhouse, the box gives protection from slugs etc. This gives them sufficient heat to germinate. Don’t use any other sources of heat as this will make the plants weak and not able to survive the winter.

If you planted Brassicas early in the year they should still be harvesting calabrese large headed broccoli, Romanesco broccoli and start to see broccoli coming on in preparation for an early new year harvest. Brussel sprouts should be coming along nicely either for harvesting this month or for Christmas depending on the variety you’ve picked. Keep an eye for mould and aphids in the winter months on these plants to maintain their health though the next couple of months.

Again, a reminder now is the time to feed the soil, the nutrients will have been consumed throughout the summer by the growing crops. It is important that you start to get good organic matter into the soil whether that be manure or compost. It’s not necessary to dig in now that can be done later.