November 3, 2016
Remember, remember, the joys of November.
Apologies to whoever wrote the original verse but November is about so much more than bonfires and gunpowder. Autumn has taken hold and trees and shrubs are now providing the colour in our gardens. Kale, cabbages, beetroot and sprouts are holding court in the veg garden and the crab apples are begging to be picked and turned into jewel-coloured jelly.
The days may be short and the nights long but as with every other month November brings with it many treasures and plenty of gardening jobs!
- Sow some herbs to grow on windowsills during the coming winter months. You’ll need them to flavour all that scrumptious comfort food!
- Bare root shrubs and trees will start to be delivered this month, the perfect time for planting.
- Early in the month is still not too late to sow sweet peas. The result will be early blooms next year.
- Continue raking up fallen leaves and turn them into valuable leaf mulch.
- Soft fruit, including rhubarb can be planted now.
- Secure grease bands around fruit trees to fend off the winter moth.
- A wet November day is the perfect time to give pots and seed trays a good clean ready for next season.
- Depending on where you live your dahlias may or may not still be flowering. Once they stop do wait for the first frost to blacken the stems before cutting down and lifting. Or not lifting! Visit our blog for advice.
Add some winter cheer to your home with flowering houseplants. So much cheaper than buying fresh cut-flowers each week and so much more rewarding. Our November catalogue will be dropping through your letterbox on or shortly after the 10th and features some stunning plants from which to choose. Several are scented and all are beautiful.
One example is the new “Flamingo Flower” Anthurium Red. The glossy green leaves create a perfect backdrop to the vibrant red flowers. With red and green being such traditional festive colours this plant would make the perfect Christmas gift. The lucky recipient doesn’t need to know that the Down to Earth price is just £11.99. And we’ll even deliver it for you.
So you harvested all your squash last month and maybe used some to make jack-o-lanterns for Halloween? The remainder will store well provided they have been thoroughly dried and are kept frost-free. They’ll enjoy the warmth of a kitchen or utility room and thankfully are attractive enough to display on a windowsill if cupboard space is short.
When preparing your squash for the plate don’t worry about removing the skin first. With thin-skinned varieties, such as butternut squash, the skin is tasty once cooked. With the more thick-skinned squash it is easier to remove the cooked flesh from the skin, rather than other way around. Less dangerous too!
Comfort food is what many of us are looking for at this time of year and squash certainly fits the brief. To save on washing up the hollowed out squash can be used as a serving bowl. Just slice the top off, scoop out the seeds and flesh and then bake them, upside down, until crisp. Then fill with squash soup, curry, salad or whatever else takes your fancy. Squash is technically a fruit and so works well in sweet dishes. Substitute grated squash instead of carrot in your carrot cake recipe and you’re in for a real treat.
Squash works well with:
Onion Garlic Rosemary Sage Thyme Chilli
Ginger Cheese Yoghurt Cream Nuts Cumin
Nutmeg Lime Soy sauce Spinach
If you haven’t already seen Last month’s blog then now’s the time, simply click on any or all of the following titles.
Flower Arranging with Rob Smith