What to plant in polytunnel in November – the SIX crops to sow and grow right now

Winter gardening tips

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November is a fruitful time to plant out crops, though some plants need extra protection from the harsh winter weather. Polytunnels are a safe way to keep a variety of different garden plants growing for longer, offering added shelter from frost and high winds – but what should you be growing in your polytunnel this month?

What can I grow in my Polytunnel in winter?

Polytunnels are a useful garden structure to help gardeners bear the brunt of the harsh winter weather.

With the mid-November weather setting in, it’s a great time to think about adding to your polytunnel crops ahead of the plummeting temperatures and frosted winds.

From winter vegetables to hearty herbs there is plenty to sow and plant out into a polytunnel this month.

Focus on planting peas and broad beans, or any other vegetables that were sown in September or October.

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Top six crops to sow and grow in a polytunnel this month include:

  1. Broad beans
  2. Garlic cloves
  3. Early peas
  4. Winter lettuce
  5. Carrots
  6. Cabbage

You can still sow winter salads into modules or pots and keep them in a polytunnel through the winter.

Plant four to five seeds per cell of the following winter salads:

  • Annual spinach
  • Oriental brassica salads
  • Claytonia (winter purslane)
  • Chervil
  • Coriander
  • Dill

Garlic Cloves

It’s a good time to plant garlic cloves directly into soil beds within your polytunnel this month.

This popular kitchen ingredient is ideal to grow during the winter as it thrives with the cold British seasonal weather.

Planting garlic cloves requires very little space – leave 10 to 15cm between each clove and plant each one around 2 to 3cm deep.

Surround with recycled garden waste and compost and leave to grow until June.

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Broad beans

Growing broad beans in a polytunnel will extend the growing season by weeks and give you a stealthier crop to harvest as early as April.

You can sow broad beans directly into soil beds or into pots to save space.

To sow directly, sow single beans two inches deep into the soil, making blocks or double rows to encourage support as they grow.

Leave a gap of 24 inches between each set of double rows for an easier harvest

Cover the beans and water well to settle the soil before leaving for the winter to grow.

How to sow broad beans in pots

Sow broad beans in a multi-purpose compost to fill small pots or root trainers.

Use one seed per pot and push it two inches deep into the soil before covering and labelling.

Water the pots well and leave to drain.

Begin transplanting into the bed of your polytunnel when they grow to two inches tall.

Place potted beans into a large, clear container inside your polytunnel to prevent slugs and mice from nibbling on your growing crop.

What to plant from seed in your polytunnel right now

Winter greens and root vegetables can be sown from seed in a polytunnel right now.

Early peas, carrots, cabbage and winter lettuce are also in season, as well as garlic and broad beans – so be sure to make space for these in the beds of your polytunnel.

You will need to keep root vegetables and winter green well mulched to protect plant roots from frost.

Some top tips for sowing winter vegetables in your polytunnel include:

  • Creating a hotbed with composting material to grow more tender crops
  • Add thermal mass to gently warm the structure at night
  • Use organic mulch like straw and bracken to protect roots
  • Use cloches, bubble wrap or horticultural fleece for an extra barrier against the cold

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