Don't worry if your Autumn sown broad beans (Fava beans) look a little sad after a frost or snow shower. Your plants may flop to the ground and look pretty dead, but they will be fine. The hardy autumn varieties can easily shake off the cold weather; as the sun comes out and the snow melts, the plants will pop back up as good as new.
Did you know it's best to leave them alone and not to try and stand them back up, as you can snap the frozen stems. However, if they are covered in snow for days you'll need to clear it as they still need the light to survive.
After any snow showers its best to clear standing snow from crop cages, fruit cages and any other structures. The weight of snow can easily snap wooden supports and will buckle metal uprights, plus it can rip netting and horticultural fleece.
Did you know its best to remove the netting and just drape it over your plants, this way the snow won't cause damage and hungry pigeons still can't decimate your plants as easily.
Garlic cloves can be started off in modules if you don't have the space in the garden/allotment right now, or if your plot is frozen/water-logged. You don't need to keep them in a greenhouse, a cold-frame will work just fine. Once you have space, or your plot dries out a little, you can transplant them out at any time.
Did you know, garlic needs a good few weeks of cold weather to make it split into cloves!
Heres an environmentally friendly way to sow sweet peas in an unheated greenhouse or cold-frame. Don't give the seedlings any heat or they can become tall and leggy, you want stocky little plants to transplant in Spring.
Did you know when your plants get to 15cm tall you can snip off the tips and it will encourage them to become bushy with more flowers.
Here's a quick and easy guide to pruning pear & apples trees once the leaves have all fallen off. This is best done when the trees are dormant, around November-February.
Did you know you are aiming to create a goblet shape to the tree, with no inward facing branches, this allows for good air-flow and makes it easier to harvest fruit.
Broad beans can be sown Autumn-Spring (even Summer) depending on the variety. They don't need heat, so don't sow them inside or they can go leggy. You are aiming for strong, stocky little plants that can survive outside all winter. Don't worry about frost or snow, your plants will be fine.
Did you know plants may collapse and look dead, but they will perk back up as soon as the sun comes out. Don't try and stand them back up as you could snap them!
Did you know you can save your own runner bean seed to sow next year. You can even save them and use them in the kitchen, they are great in soups and casseroles?
For next years seeds - Dry the beans thoroughly and keep them in a dark place, they can be sown and grown just like the ones you buy.
For the kitchen - Once your beans are dry keep them in airtight jars in a dark place. When you want to use them, soak overnight and cook until tender.
Did you know if there are other runner bean plants in the area, they may cross pollinate and produce slightly different plants to the ones you originally grew. Don't worry though, they will be just as tasty.
Citrus trees can easily be overwintered in a cool/light room in the house or in a lean-to or conservatory. Fruit normally ripens in Autumn/Winter and is a great talking point when you have people round for Christmas parties, especially if you are using home-grown fruit in drinks. Make sure there aren't any cold breezes around plants as they can drop their leaves, plus tortrix moth caterpillars can be a problem on plants at this time of year, so they need removing along with any damaged fruit.
Did you know citrus fruit will begin to produce new flowers on the plants while they still have fruit developing, plus the blooms are incredibly fragrant.
Keep checking back for more grow guides!
Chef Phil Vickery cooks up a storm while I pickle shallots!