If you didn’t do so last month, sow seeds of “early”, overwintering varieties now – either in the ground or in pots in a cold frame. Otherwise, wait until the new year, when you can sow “late” broad beans for harvesting in July and August.
Sow an autumn variety such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ now, before the winter sets in, and you should get a crop a little earlier next year than if you wait until spring before sowing.
Plant garlic cloves now. If you leave it until next month, the ground may become too hard or too wet, in which case you should wait until February or even March – though that won’t leave so long for the bulbs to fatten up.
Rhubarb is dormant now, so it is a good time to buy and plant new sets or propagate from established plants. Spread well-rotted compost around the stems but don’t cover the crowns.
Plant new, bare-rooted vines this month or wait until next spring, ideally March.
Bare-rooted cherries and plums can be planted at any time between November and January, and apples and pears between November and March. That said, November is considered to be the optimum time, especially in areas where the ground is likely to freeze hard.
All fruit trees are best planted in the winter, when they are dormant. Prepare the hole in advance with plenty of well-rotted organic material, and stake the young tree to secure it until its roots have established a firm hold.
Raspberries and blackberries
Plant new, bare-rooted canes of raspberries, blackberries, and hybrid berries – preferably in holes or trenches that you have previously dug and filled with well-rotted compost or manure.
Currants and gooseberries
Plant new, bare-rooted bushes this month or next. Container-grown bushes can be planted at any time of year, but autumn is an ideal month to get them in the ground.
Text and photographs copyright © 2010 Alan Buckingham.