Top November Allotment Tips

At the end of October, grey skies and the Autumn rains came just in time to dampen Halloween.

A more positive outcome is that my pond at home, at last, started to fill up! There is a minor leak somewhere and the rain will at least save me lugging my recycled tub trug full of water up and down the garden. I do like the versatility of the trug and especially that I can grab both handles with just one hand, leaving the other free!

As we enter November, tree foliage is beginning to drop rapidly. It is easy and rewarding to gather handfuls of fallen leaves and store them in biodegradable leaf sacks. When the leaves rot down they will make leaf mould. This is a wonderful soil improver that aids moisture retention on the allotment next year. It is perfect for using in a runner bean trench.

I’ve been harvesting the very last of my summer crops and it has been another good year. The stems of non-diseased plants such as runner beans, courgettes and sweet corn (chopped up) are perfect for starting off a new compost bin. I prefer two bins in use at the same time. In Autumn, there is a lot of spent material to start off a new bin. It is better to keep the new stuff separate from the partially rotted summer material.

If you’ve just taken on a new allotment that is overgrown, weed fabric will be your new best friend! It is perfect for covering patches of weeds and instantly improving the appearance of the plot. The weeds can be scythed first or strimmed to aid the decomposition process.

Autumn is a good time of year to take on a new plot. Weed growth is greatly diminished and if the land is dry, there is no better time to dig the soil.

November Seed Sowing

One of the good things about having an allotment is that there are seeds that can be sown every month of the year. In Autumn it is largely undercover but the planning process for next year should begin now.

In November I like to sow some overwintering broad beans in my cold greenhouse or cold frame. The varieties ‘De Monica’, ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ and ‘The Sutton’ are all suitable for sowing between now and late February. ‘The Sutton’ can also be sown successfully outside between spring and early summer.

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