Now that we’re reaching mid-November we move into lower and lower light levels, and the temperatures will keep dropping, too. You’ll most likely notice a fairly significant slowing of plant growth – those fast growing lettuces and salad leaves will stop producing quite so many new leaves, newly planted spinach and chard will slow down a little, winter cabbages and spring greens that got off to a good start may even seem to stop growing. It’s all normal and nothing to worry about – you can let nature do its thing and when things start to warm up again in early spring, you’ll see them growing again.
There are a few things you can do to help though, and if you have time to put one or two things in place from the list below, it will help:
You could easily build a cloche tunnel using hoops (see below) and polythene, or you can buy cloches from your local garden centre.
Clean greenhouse windows/polytunnels
if you’re growing under cover, then this is a really valuable weekend job to do so that you let in as much light (and warmth) as possible.
Cover crops with horticultural fleece
Keeping plants warmer will help them to continue growing. Horticultural fleece is a simple way of doing this – just lay it loosely across a row of plants, secure at the sides with heavy stones. You can re-use it again and again.
Mulching in between plants now is a great idea as it will help to keep the soil a little warmer, thus helping plants to keep going through the winter.
None of the above will mean that your plants keep growing at the pace they have been growing, but it will help to keep their roots strong and keep them a little warmer so that they do well over the next few months, and you should find that they stay healthier. Don’t forget to