November is perceived by many as a grim wet month with nothing exciting to do in the garden, and yet for me it signals the turn of the year with so many things to do in preparation for next year’s Summer.
In fact today is actually sunny and warm and I have been able to potter around in the garden and take stock of what’s changed and what needs sorting.I started by creating a bit of space in my greenhouse in order to provide shelter for frost tender plants such as succulents and the plant cuttings such as rosemary and sage which I made at the end of Summer.
I have also cleared my strawberry bed and pulled up all of the plants as they had been in place for 3 years. Usually strawberry plants don’t crop so well after 3 years hence the need to replace them. I found a lot of ladybirds in my strawberry patch which seem to have really thrived this year. Since l like these dear ladies I have provided them with a shelter in the greenhouse.
A firm believer in crop rotation, I intend to grow something different in the area where I have grown my strawberries. I have therefore dug up the whole area and started to incorporate some sand and well rotted manure. I dug out the area over a couple of days as I had not done any digging since last winter and I like to take it easy at the beginning so that I don’t hurt my back.
I got the manure from a local donkey sanctuary which is actually a charity. I’ve never had any issue with manure in the past but I have heard that some allotment owners were unlucky and sourced some manure which was contaminated with a herbicide (aminopyralid) that apparently affects crop growth.
I am also doing my own compost and for this purpose I have 2 compost bins which I fill in regularly with greens from the kitchen and garden. I will still need more rotted manure to incorporate in the soil as I get on with my digging during the whole winter season.
On a day like today there’s nothing better than standing in the sun with a nice cup of tea and planning for the months to come. Bring on Winter.