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On the allotment

APPLES AND PEARS: Prevent winter moths on apple and pear trees by fixing grease bands to tree trunks and stakes. Grease bands can be bought in packs from garden centres.
Rose
Stake Brussels sprouts
BRASSICAS: Keep beds housing brassicas such as Brussels sprouts tidy, weed-free and remove any plant debris. You many need to stake some plants and/or net against pigeons. Stretch nets over supports that are strong enough to cope with snowfalls.

BROAD BEANS: You can still sow these early this month. Use cloches, but take precautions against mice.

CELERY: Mound soil over celery for protection, so you can harvest as required without fear of frost damage.

DIGGING: Prepare the ground for next year by your preferred method. Take advantage of dry days – if the soil is so wet it sticks to tools and boots, then postpone working on it. Covering the soil with a sheet of polythene can help keep the rain off. The traditional option is to dig vacant areas, incorporating well-rotted farmyard manure where necessary.

GARLIC: November is the last chance to plant bulbs for a crop next summer. If it is too wet to plant outside, start the cloves off in modular trays and overwinter these in a cold frame.

GREEN MANURE: Sow on bare ground, so plants can be dug in to add valuable organic matter to the soil in spring. Winter rye can be sown as late as November.

HERBS: Pot up herbs, such as parsley and mint, and cover with a cloche if not done last month.

LEEKS: Clean through your beds, clearing weeds and removing any foliage infected with rust.

ONIONS: Check those in store and remove any showing signs of rotting.

PATHS: Maintain paths between raised beds. You can spread shreddings on pathways and rake level, or sweep brick paving. Weed beds and pathways.

SOFT FRUIT: Prune soft fruit such as raspberry canes, blackcurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries if not yet done.
In the greenhouse
LABELLING: When it is too wet to work in the borders, sort out plant labels for next year. At Barnsdale Gardens we engrave plant labels so they are long-lasting, but they do need to be cleaned and put back in order.
SEED ORDERING: Check what seed you still have. Most will keep if stored cool and dry in an airtight container, although parsnip and parsley are best bought fresh. Sort through catalogues and order for next year.

SOWING: Sow pea seeds such as ‘Douce Provence’ into guttering.

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