November is one of the most attractive months of the year. The colours are splendid and the sunlight is unique at this time of year.
This autumn has been mild so far, with few cold spells. Indeed, we’ve had turbulent weather and seen various degrees of damage from storm Brian. Now that it’s calmer get out onto your vegetable patch, have a clear up and sort out, and give your soil a boost with some fresh soil conditioners and compost. See our new Dalefoot range.
Enjoy the beautiful colours of autumn.
Jobs to do now...
Bare-root fruit trees respond really well when planting in late-autumn. The roots get to work straight away in growing and developing to provide a strong underground network ready for the stem-growing season in spring.
As long as the ground is not waterlogged or frozen bare-rooted trees can be planted straight away. Keep cool until planted.
Once you receive your plants from us it’s a good idea to give them a soak in a bucket of cold water for a couple of hours prior to planting, to make sure the roots are hydrated.
Dig a hole that’s large enough to fit the entire root mass without any roots being broken, bent or emerging from the surface. It also needs to be deep enough to cover the roots with around half an inch of soil. Use any appropriate fertiliser like Fish, Blood and Bone to give the tree an initial boost.
Refill the hole with soil compacting the soil around the roots bit by bit. Finally firm down the planted area gently with your hands or sole of your foot.
Give the planted area a good soak with water straight away after planting. It pays to surround the trunk with a warming thick layer of bulky compost or bark. Make sure the thick layer doesn’t make direct contact with the trunk – just make a ring of mulch around the trunk.
Plant strawberry runners (the young horizontal stems ready to become new plants) in containers and baskets now to overwinter, and they’ll fruit earlier next summer to give you a head start on harvests.
Planting strawberries plants now to overwinter is a great way to get strong and prolific plants. They spend the winter putting down a strong network of roots, and then in spring have a strong base from which grows healthy stems with lots of flowers.
If you grow a number of different varieties now you can stagger your harvests and to have flavoursome strawberry fruits from as early as May to see you through the summer.
Treat to a high-phosphorous and potassium feed, like fish, blood and bone, now which will really give the roots a boost for growing over winter and change to a high-potash feed when it warms up again in spring.
Keep a regular supply of young and nutritious salad leaves. They’re great in soups and salads and make fantastic garnishes for a range of tasty meals. They’re easy to grow especially in purpose-created kits like our Grow-Felt Mats.
Place a mat into the black tray and add some water to moisten the mat.
Sprinkle seeds evenly onto the moist mat covering the area so they are close but not on top of each other
Place the transparent lid over the black tray.
Place the complete kit on a light windowsill, exposed to maximum light.
Seeds will germinate and produce leaves in up to two weeks. The seed leaves will emerge first – these are the thicker, succulent smaller leaves. After the first true leaves will appear. Snip the stems and leaves with scissors.
The leaves will grow back if you keep the felt mats damp and keep the kit in a light place like a windowsill.
Enjoy picking the last of the autumn-fruiting raspberries this month and take advantage of those lovely, smoke-scented autumn days. Once you’ve picked all the fruit, add some rich compost to the soil and give the ground a thick layer of warming mulch for the winter. Tie in any green shoots to canes for next year. Order in next year’s raspberry plants too.
Fun, easy and hardy to UK climate, pumpkins and squashes are great to try on the vegetable patch, naturally producing lots of leaves they keep weeds down as well so are handy to grow if you have problem with weeds. Here are some of our customer favourites;
Pumpkin Hundredweight The orange/yellow-skinned pumpkins are high in flavour too - perfect for pies and soups.
Pumpkin Polar Bear Shows F1 hybrid vigour. Ghost-white fruit perfect for Halloween! Plants produce large white pumpkin
Squash Hunter Maturing up to four weeks earlier than most, it has a more compact, open habit with slightly smaller fruit and an excellent flavour
Pumpkin & Coconut Soup - to serve up to 4 people!
A great tasty recipe to warm you up through the autumn. Try it with a warm crusty loaf sliced thickly and dipped in, it's delicious and satisfying.
1 medium pumpkin (2.5cm cubes)
1 large onion (diced)
2 garlic cloves
4-5 sprigs thyme
400ml coconut milk
salt and pepper (to taste)
grated cheddar cheese (optional)
Place your pumpkin in a pan with the onion and garlic. Add thyme.
Add 400ml (14 fl oz) water to the pumpkin mix gradually and bring to the boil until the pumpkin softens and pulps.
Pour in coconut milk gradually and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve in bowls and add salt and pepper to taste and add grated cheddar if preferred.
Woodpigeons are on the increase and this can spell trouble for us home growers; particularly when we are growing brassicas. One pigeon can strip a cabbage plant in the space of an hour and the results are so demoralising.
Help save the UK countryside with 100% peat-free Dalefoot compost range
Enjoy Dalefoot peat-free compost and soil conditioner range for every home-growing situation from sowing seeds to tending ericaceous plants like blueberries and azaleas. Made from blended sheep’s wool and bracken for a perfect soil structure for good roots.
The bracken is high in potash which boosts your crops’ flowering and fruiting potential. The sheep’s wool provide a perfect consistency for an ideal soil structure allowing air pockets in the soil for healthy and happy roots.
Peat-free, this range is environmentally sound and mindful of the UK landscape. Plus the sheep’s wool is a by-product put to excellent renewable use.
Marshalls “Growing Success” stories
In July we asked you to send us images of your Growing Successes to be in with a chance of being one of 3 lucky winners to each win a £50 Gift Voucher. We were overwhelmed with the amount of entries that came in daily and needless to say, it wasn't easy picking our winners as they were all great photos.
A massive Thank You to all our entrants who took part in this competition and a huge Congratulations to our chosen winners, Mr. Williams, Miss. March and Mr. Roberts who have all won a £50 gift voucher each, we hope you have many more successes over the years.
Keep warm and dry in the garden
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Click here to visit Cosyfeet and find out more.
Cosyfeet footwear is roomier than anything you’ll find on the high street. Specially designed to fit swollen feet, it combines the latest colours and trends with an extra roomy fitting so you can enjoy style as well as comfort.