Wondering about the best fruit and vegetables to sow in November? We don't blame you; we're not quite ready to hang up our gardening tools just yet, either, and our allotments have given us too much joy this year to bid them farewell just yet.
Thankfully, we've plenty of garden ideas that will help you make the most of these colder months. Because, yes, there are some edimentals that actively benefit from being planted at this time of year.
With that in mind, then, let's hop aboard the GYO garden trend once again...
The best fruit and vegetables to sow in November
People tend to assume that gardening season is over come November, but nothing could be further from the truth: from learning how to plant a magnolia tree, to finally planting out your tulip bulbs, there are plenty of garden jobs best done this month.
Naturally, the same is true of our allotments, so it's a good idea to get acquainted with the best fruit and vegetables to sow in November, stat.
1. Salad leaves and winter lettuce
Easily one of the easiest and best fruit and vegetables to sow in November is the not-so-humble salad leaf.
'Salad leaves – such as lettuce, mizuna, mustard, spinach, lettuce, and rocket – can all be sown in pots or trays on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse for a winter crop of young tender leaves a few weeks later,' says Morris Hankinson, director of Hopes Grove Nurseries.
Morris Hankinson is the founder and managing director of Hopes Grove Nurseries Ltd, the UK’s only specialist grower-retailer of hedging plants, which he established after graduating with a Commercial Horticulture Degree from Writtle College, Essex in 1992.
'You could then also grow varieties of lettuce such as ‘Winter Gem’ in pots or in the soil,' adds Morris.
Where to buy salad and winter lettuce seeds:
- Crocus: a bumper variety of salad seeds and a multi-pack of winter lettuce seeds
- Thompson & Morgan: a wide selection of salad seeds and 'winter butterhead' lettuce seeds
- Sarah Raven: mix of winter lettuce seeds
2. Blueberry plants
Blueberries are an antioxidant-packed superfood, so you'd best believe we consider them among best fruit and vegetables to sow in November.
'This is one of the best months to sow blueberry plants,' says Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the co-directors at Gardens Revived. 'And they grow well, regardless of whether you choose to pop them straight in the ground or in pots.'
A gardener with over a decade of experience under his belt, Christopher set up Gardens Revived with his brother, Andrew, in 2018 to create a thriving family business. Together, they have worked on residential gardens, listed buildings and gardens, flower shows and large estates with some exceeding 70 acres – many with historical significance.
If you decide to give these nutrient-dense berries a go, just make sure you treat them to some ericaceous compost and a good watering to help them settle in.
Where to buy blueberry plants:
3. Broad beans
'Broad beans are a sure bet for planting in November or December for an early crop next year,' says Morris.
'Plant them in cell trays in an unheated greenhouse and plant them out later on, or if you have a well-drained veg patch – plant them straight outside.'
Morris adds that, while 'the seedlings may take ages to appear, but the young plants will grow fast as the days get longer in spring providing an excellent early crop'.
Where to buy broad bean seeds:
- Crocus: a hearty selection of broad bean seeds
- Thompson & Morgan: broad bean seeds aplenty
- Sarah Raven: more broad bean seeds than you can shake a supportive stake at
Not traditionally considered to be one of the best fruit and vegetables to sow in November, Morris also has his eye on some winter pea varieties this year.
'Peas are another candidate for winter planting,' he says. 'When buying your seeds be sure to choose a ‘first early’ variety though, these are varieties that have been bred to be hardy over winter and will crop early next year.'
Where to buy pea seeds:
- Thompson & Morgan: Pea 'Douce Provence' seeds and Pea 'Meteor' seeds
- Crocus: Pea 'Early Onward' seeds
It's definitely time to learn how to grow raspberry canes, as these little wonders are some of the best fruit and vegetables to sow in November.
'Nothing beats a raspberry picked straight from the cane,' says Christopher. 'And, thankfully, they're very easy to grow, even for total beginners.'
Plant yours between November and March, making sure the soil isn't frozen, for an abundance of juicy fruits next year.
Where to buy raspberry plants:
- Crocus: a wide selection of raspberry plants
- Thompson & Morgan: a generous offering of raspberry plants
6. Onions and leeks
Planting onions and leeks in your vegetable garden this November is another great way to get an early harvest next year.
'Onion and leek seeds are traditionally planted on Boxing Day for the earliest crops and largest prize-winning specimens,' explains Morris.
'Start them off in pots or multi cell trays in the greenhouse planting 2-3 seeds in each and thinning them out to leave the strongest plant as they develop. Plant them outside in well prepared soil in spring.'
Where to buy onion and leek seeds:
- Thompson & Morgan: A wide variety of onion seeds and leek seeds
- Crocus: A wide variety of onion seeds and leek seeds
- Amazon: A selection of winter onion sets and leek seeds
Garlic, including particularly elephant garlic, is considered to be among the best fruit and vegetables to sow in November.
'Tis the season to plant garlic sets,' says Christopher sagely. 'Grown from cloves, they actually prefer a cold snap or two to get them settled, so it's always a good idea to plant these in late autumn or even early winter. Especially as they're a low-fuss, low-maintenance kind of plant!'
Where to buy garlic seeds:
- Thompson & Morgan: 'Autumn Lovers' collection of garlic sets
- Crocus: French garlic for autumn planting
8. Rhubarb plants
Rhubarb is synonymous with summer, but Morris assures us that rhubarb plants can be bought in November and December as ‘crowns’ (pieces of root with a bud at the top).
'This is a great time to plant them, and they should establish and grow well next spring,' he says. 'However, it's best not to harvest any in the first year and just allow them to get well established.'
Where to buy rhubarb crowns:
- Thompson & Morgan: the rhubarb goliath is an excellent choice
- Crocus: A tasty selection of rhubarb crowns
9. Bare root fruit trees
We've already explained all the reasons why you should plant a fruit tree this autumn, but now we have one more to add to the list: they are cream of the crop when it comes to finding the best fruit and vegetables to sow in November.
'Bare root fruit trees are cheaper and more environmentally responsible than potted trees from the garden centre because they don’t need a plastic pot or compost, they demand less water, and they are cheaper to transport,' says Morris.
'Plant them in late autumn and they will benefit from the soil still being warm, making new root growth that sets them in good stead for successful growth next year.'
Where to buy bare root fruit trees:
- Thompson & Morgan: A wide variety of bare root fruit trees, from pears to apples
- Crocus: A good selection of bare root fruit trees, including blackcurrants and cherries
What veg can I plant now in November?
If you're looking for the best vegetables to sow in November, it's worth considering where you'll be planting them: tender salad leaves, for example, can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse. Hardier vegetables, such as onions, spring cabbages, leeks and garlic, can be sown outdoors into the soil this month.
What fruit can you plant in November UK?
While rhubarb crowns and raspberry canes fare well over these colder months, November absolutely belongs to the bare root fruit tree.
'Autumn's chill might be settling in, but it's the ideal time to order bare-root apple, pear, and plum trees,' says Autumn Barlow, Coronation Gardens project manager at The Wildlife Trusts.
'These resilient fruit trees survive cold winters, and sourcing bare-root plants means you avoid trees packaged in plastic pots. To ensure they thrive through the cold, water thoroughly when planting and mulch their base to retain moisture and warmth. With a little care, they'll stand strong, ready to blossom in spring.'
Is November good for planting?
While it's chillier, and there is always that risk of an early frost, November is considered a great time for planting out hardy vegetables and bare root fruit trees, as it is usually drier than late October.
Just make sure the ground isn't too soggy or frozen over when you set to work.
We hope that this bumper list of the best fruit and vegetables to sow in November has inspired you to fill your vegetable patch (or garden borders) with edimentals.
As ever, it's hard work now, but it'll pay off next year when you can tuck into your very own crop of delicious goodies...
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Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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