November Newsletter

How quickly the year is disappearing! The barbecue has only just been cleared away yet here we are in November, the last month of autumn. Seasonality is one of the many joys of gardening, imagine how dull it would be if the garden looked the same all year round

The year may be ending but the new gardening year starts in November. The Dobies 2019 Seed Catalogue is out meaning you can start planning what to sow and grow next year. If a plant performed badly this summer, then perhaps it was planted in the wrong place? Well now is the time to correct that mistake and to move it, together with any other plants that have simply outgrown their patch.

Without the lush summer growth, you will have a clear view of the structure of your garden. So, now is the perfect time to get out there and make some changes.

– Sow some herbs to grow on windowsills, you’ll need them to flavour all that scrumptious comfort food!

– Salad leaves can also be sown now. In fact, sow every 3 weeks throughout the year and you’ll never again need to buy salad leaves. At this time of year try our Winter Mix.

– Early in the month is still not too late to sow sweet peas in rootrainers or other deep pots. The result will be strong plants bearing early blooms.

– After the first frosts leeks, parsnips and Brussels sprouts can start to be harvested.

– Continue raking up fallen leaves and turn them into valuable leaf mould. It is a superb soil conditioner and makes great potting compost. And its free!

Soft fruit, including rhubarb can be planted now. Choose an open, sunny spot and dig in plenty of garden compost.

– Secure glue 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’s sowings.

– 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.

Most of us will have experienced some frost by now so parsnips can be harvested. Frost converts the starch into sugar and so develops the flavour and make the roots sweeter. Prior to the introduction of sugar, parsnips were used to sweeten cakes, puddings and jams. Extra-sweet types of parsnip are now available including a new improved variety, Panorama F1.

The best way to store your parsnips is to leave them in the ground, only lifting what you are going to use. When preparing the roots for cooking don’t worry about removing the core unless the parsnip is very large and a bit woody (tends to happen towards the end of the season).


A versatile root it’s a waste to restrict parsnips to just being an accompaniment to the Sunday roast, although they do this job very well! Parsnips can be eaten raw in salads and winter coleslaws or roasted, steamed or boiled. They make a delicious mash or can be deep fried in chunks as an alternative to potato chips. Chopped up small parsnip works well in a creamy risotto or cut into larger chunks and add to stews and curries.

What goes well with parsnips?

Parmesan Cheese                  Apples                        Cream                  Cheddar Cheese

Cream                                     Nutmeg                       Coriander            Cumin

Chilli                                        Ginger                         Bacon                   Venison

Honey                                     Orange                        Nuts                     Dates

Christmas Shopping

If the thought of queuing for parking, wondering round shops in the wet and cold and being jostled by fellow reluctant shoppers doesn’t appeal then there is another option. Make a pot of tea and settle in front of the fire with the Dobies 2019 Gift Catalogue. We’ve a wide range of gifts, including unusual items for that “oh so difficult to buy for” loved one. And we’ll deliver direct to your door.

Choosing the Right Potato

We receive many requests from customers wanting to know what potatoes are best to grow for certain types of cooking. As a result, we now include a code next to each potato variety included in our range. Hope you find it useful.

B = Boil M = Mash J = Jacket R = Roast C = Chips S = Salad


Plant of the Month

Winter can be dark and gloomy but all it takes is some colour in the garden to raise our spirits and what can be better than some winter bedding plants? Whether you’re after colourful borders or beds to be proud of our range has it all. But if you can’t decide, we’ve put together a lucky dip of 9cm plants to help keep your garden looking cheerful throughout the colder months.

It’s hard for us to grow exactly the right number of plants that we need each season. We sometimes grow too many of the same varieties. You can take advantage of this, and order a ‘Lucky Dip’ at a fraction of the normal cost! The plants will be select by us from our outstanding range so that you can create spectacular displays in hanging baskets and patio containers!

Buy Winter/Spring Bedding Plants Lucky Dip – 18x 9cm plant for only £15!

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