November was a classic autumnal month, a mish mash of crazy, ever changing conditions. Covid aside (and that certainly brought some turbulence) we had still, calm, warm days, torrential rain, gales and enough frost to knock the Dahlias and beans for six. In truth it has been great. I so enjoy boisterous weather, the rough and tumble when you are just trying to get on. I was out there today, raking leaves, continuing to cut back herbaceous plants, I’ve repaired a fence, trimmed the lawn and planted a few bits of bedding, all in all a satisfying day. I may even get to paint the shed in the coming days. It’s a snap shot of my day and a gentle reminder that it is a great time to be cleaning and tidying.
It is also a time for making ready for winter, for protecting the bits that we want to keep. So lift the dahlias tubers, take up the least hardy geraniums and fuchsias and salvage any remaining summer vegetables for storing. It is even worth running a fork back through the potato patch (you will have left some). Make storage space clean and dry, watch our for rodents too. You can still be planting peas and beans, together with sweet peas, but here too keep an eye for rodents. The squirrel has been busy in our garden nicking tulip bulbs and the mice just love the peas. If you want to play then just do a few pots and if you use something of a decent size peas and beans can both grow right through to harvest in containers. This month you will see bare root plants on offer, most notably hedging and raspberries. They are fine to plant now and most centres will be offering a good range of informal and formal hedging as well raspberries for all seasons. The raspberry is a great fruit and by careful selection, it is possible to be cropping from June to October.
And finally, December is the month for reflection and planning. The time to consider, what worked and what didn’t. The 2021 seed lists are out, teeming with new ideas, I will be trying the Green Knight Aubergine for certain and there are new Zinnias to consider. My real dilemma will be with tomatoes though. If Boxing day offers you a quiet moment then join me as I journey to https://www.worldtomatosociety.com/.