This is the time of year to think ahead to next season and to look to improve the quality of your soil. If your soil is healthy and alive, full of nutrients and organic matter it will be free draining and perfect for plants to thrive in.
Raw animal manure can be added under a thick layer of mulch. This will ripen and break down over the winter, making lovely soil to plant in next spring.
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If you have struggled with heavy, sodden clay soils this season, this is the time to build raised beds. You can either do this with edging or simply by making mounds of soil in rows.
Any potatoes still in the ground should be lifted and stored in a cool, dark airy place.
Some gardeners sow peas now, they will come away now, but really take off as soon as the weather warms in spring. As long as the rats and mice don’t eat them in the winter!
Cabbage and Cauliflower seedlings can go into well-manured plots. Tatsoi planted or sown now will continue to grow through the winter.
For planting out in spring, sow cabbage and lettuce in glass covered boxes or cloches. Choose rich soil and in a sunny position.
Heavily manure your rhubarb to ensure a good crop next season.
Asparagus tops need to be removed before they drop their seeds. Remove the weeds and cover in a layer of manure and seaweed.
Fruit trees can be encouraged to grow more fruiting spurs and fewer leaves by root pruning now. Young apples, pears and stone fruit that are not fruiting well can be lifted out of the ground and root pruned.
Cut back the tap roots cleanly right back to the stem. Replant and stake firmly to prevent it blowing over.
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