Carol Klein plants Allium bulbs in her garden
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Gardening in November can seem like a dull task ,with the cold wet weather leaving many Brits seeking refuge in our warm homes. While we may not have the weather to enjoy outside, leading ‘no dig’ gardening expert, Stephanie Hafferty says there is an abundance of foods and florals to gather from your garden right through the month. Express.co.uk spoke to the gardening experts to find out exactly what’s in season and how to give struggling crops a boost before winter.
What foods are seasonal in November?
If you’re already thinking about Christmas, you’re in luck when it comes to the November harvest.
Winter greens and roast dinner regulars are in season this month so it’s time to get out and see what’s ripe in your garden.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, leading ‘no dig’ gardening expert Stephanie Hafferty said: “November is surprisingly abundant, there’s so much you can harvest including parsnips, chard and winter brassicas like kale, cabbage and Brussel sprouts.”
With rumoured supply shortages of Christmas vegetables, there’s no better time to head out in the garden and savour those winter crops – you could head down to your local farm shop if you haven’t grown your own this year to support local producers.
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Vegetables to harvest in November
Root vegetables and immune-boosting green leaves will be ready to gather across the month.
The following vegetables are typically picked as part of a November harvest, says Stephanie:
- Autumn and winter cabbages
- Brussel sprouts
- Florence fennel
- Lambs lettuce
- Land cress
- Salad onions
To complete your Christmas dinner, gather August-planted, polytunnel-grown potatoes during December.
Which herbs are seasonal in November?
Homegrown vegetables can make winter recipes even tastier with their earthy flavours, and adding seasonal herbs can take your meals to the next level.
There are plenty of seasonal herbs to gather this November, with woody aromas at the heart of the late autumn/early winter harvest.
Seasonal herbs include rosemary, thyme, bay and sage – all of which offer a warming boost to any roast dinner or casserole dish.
Edible flowers can be used to decorate home bakes and sweet puddings – which we all know become a daily occurrence in the run-up to Christmas.
Look no further than your garden for violas and calendula petals to sprinkle over winter desserts.
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How to fix failing crops
Cold-weather crops can suffer from stunted growth where they may not be dying, but they also fail to grow.
Stephanie advised: “The best way to boost crops in the autumn is to add a compost mulch on the surface.
“Just a couple of centimetres is fine, and leave on the surface for the soil life to gradually incorporate.
“This will feed crops for a whole year. Alternatively, make a liquid feed from comfrey and nettles, or buy a seaweed feed.”
It’s not unusual for crops to struggle at this time of year, says Skye – head gardener at Links House at Royal Dornoch.
The bleak British weather can make for tough conditions for crops to thrive in our gardens.
Skye added: “If you have been growing hardy vegetables such as kale, chard, leeks, carrots and Brussels sprouts, cover them with a fleece to protect them in the coldest months.
“This will give your crops a better chance to thrive in the harshest conditions and will be ready to harvest though the winter.”
If you haven’t already, now is the time to plant out bulbs to allow them to overwinter.
Skye recommends planting garlic bulbs out, mulching and covering in order to enjoy fresh garlic in the summer.
What will you be making with your November crops? Let us know in the comments below.
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