Keep on top of fruit & veg with this monthly to-do list
• Dig over your veg beds, leaving large clumps to be broken down by cold weather.
• Spread manure over the vegetable beds that need replenishing – it will rot down over the winter.
• Once the first frost has passed, lift parsnips.
• Sow broad beans for an early crop next spring.
• Prepare a bed for garlic planting next month.
• Stake top-heavy brassicas such as sprouts, and draw up soil around the stem bases to prevent the wind rocking the plants and damaging the roots.
• Check over stored fruit and vegetables and remove any overripe or rotting items.
• Ventilate the greenhouse freely on sunny days.
• Divide mature clumps of rhubarb once they have become dormant.
• Tidy up strawberry plants by removing any dead leaves and either remove the runners or propagate them for new plants next year.
Q: I only have a small patio area as a garden and I’d like to grow some fruit bushes. What would you recommend?
A: One of the best fruits to grow in a pot are blueberries. Not because they specifically need a container, but because they’re quite fussy about the soil they need and growing them in a pot will mean you can pander to their acid-loving needs with specialist compost. Plant young bushes and pot on gradually to keep the roots unrestricted. Keep them moist, watering with rainwater, and put in a sunny position. Have at least two plants on the go and you’ll get an excellent harvest come the following summer.
Got a gardening conundrum? Ask Andy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org