Plenty of flower and vegetable seeds can be sown or planted in the UK in November. Sowing in November gives you a head start on the gardening year ahead, bringing flower and vegetable harvest times forwards, while taking up soil space that would otherwise remain empty. Sowing in November also takes the pressure off spring sowing – spring is a busy time of year, so sowing as much as you can in November will save valuable time when temperatures increase again, enabling you to grow more of what you love.
November is also a great time to plant bare-root fruit trees, which are dormant when planted but then have the full season to grow as soon as temperatures increase in spring. Trees such as apple, pear, cherry and plum can be planted now, along with blackcurrant, raspberry and gooseberry.
Find out which vegetables, flowers and fruits we recommend sowing or planting in November, below.
Vegetables to grow in November
Broad beans can be sown in the ground in autumn or alternatively in pots, for transplanting later. Sowing broad beans in November can bring your harvest forwards by a few weeks, while having roots in the ground will aid soil structure and prevent leaching of soil nutrients in autumn rains.
Spring onion 'Performer'
Hardier varieties of spring onion, such as 'Performer', can be sown in autumn for winter and spring harvests. They do well in pots, making protecting the young plants easier, too. Protect in a greenhouse or with cloches.
First early peas
Chilli peppers, such as 'Apache' and 'Medusa' can be sown anytime of year, to be grown indoors on the windowsill. In November, when the days are shorter, you'll want to provide them with warmth, and the brightest spot possible.
Other vegetables to sow or plant in November include pak choi, garlic, onions and shallots, and asparagus crowns.
Flowers to grow in November
Eryngiums are bee-friendly perennials that require a period of cold in order to germinate. Sow the seeds in pots, trays or modules and place in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame over winter. They'll germinate in spring.
Bugle, Ajuga reptans, is a fantastic UK native and a useful ground-cover plant in sun or partial shade. You could also try sowing the showier native Ajuga genevensis, which doesn't spread as quickly. Both provide evergreen colour.
Also native to the UK, Corydalis solida is a pretty perennial that enjoys a cool, moist spot in dappled or partial shade. Fresh foliage emerges in spring, and is followed by blooms that can vary in colour, from purple to white.
Sweet peas can be sown in autumn or spring, with autumn-sown sweet peas flowering much earlier than spring-sown ones. Find out more about growing sweet peas from seed.
These striking alliums are a hit with bees and other pollinators. They're usually grown by bulb, but it is possible (and cheaper) to grow them from seed. Sow Allium sphaerocephalon any time of year, ideally in containers as they take a long time to germinate. They need a period of cold to germinate successfully.
Fruit to grow in November
Apples and pears
Bare-root apples and pears can be planted now, along with container-grown trees. However, bare-root trees are cheaper to buy and you'll find a wider range of varieties to grow. Make sure you choose the right rootstock for the type of tree you want to grow – for example espalier apple trees are usually grown on a MM106 rootstock, while pear trees are grown on a Quince A rootstock.
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Cherries and plums
A huge variety of cherries and plums are available to buy bare-root. Again, check which rootstock they're growing on before planting – espalier and fan-trained cherry trees are usually grown on Gisela 5 rootstock, while fan-trained plums are grown on pixy rootstock.
Blackcurrants and gooseberries
Blackcurrants and gooseberries are available to buy bare-root, meaning there's plenty of variety to choose from at a cost-effective price. Plant them as soon as they arrive and they'll start to grow when temperatures increase again in spring.
Raspberries are best planted in autumn. Choose from a variety of cultivars and plant on well-prepared soil in full sun to partial shade.