Garden tips for November
The fruit and vegetable garden
Sow sweetcorn and popcorn. Plant out melons and pumpkins in well composted soil.
Plant basil beneath tomato plants – it’s a gardening marriage made in heaven. Putting in a few marigolds alongside helps keep pests at bay too.
Keep a regime of liquid feeding and watering going during this growth period. Placing pea straw around plants in the vegetable garden helps limit moisture evaporation.
Stake, tie up or train climbing plants along wires. Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and zucchini can be grown vertically aiding production in limited spaces.
Fruit developing – hang codling moth traps in pip fruit trees. For feijoa and citrus trees, there are also natural pheromone traps to beat guava moth.
Sow sunflower seeds – the ‘happy face’ flowers brighten the vegetable patch, and bring the bees.
The ornamental garden
Hanging baskets are easy: place a plastic saucer in the base of the basket to help hold water, fill with good potting mix and plant lots of summer flowering plants. Liquid feed after planting and hang in a sunny spot, watering and feeding regularly.
Plant hostas, astilbes and pulmonarias in shady areas of the garden, but remember to lay some snail bait around them.
After flowering keep an eye on the foliage of kowhai trees – this is the time when the voracious kowhai caterpillar starts munching. Spraying with an organic pesticide helps.
Best plants for pots that won’t get much water over summer? Geraniums, pelargoniums and succulents.
Mulch the garden: water rates keep rising and water restrictions have become a norm in Auckland, so layer mulch over the garden to keep moisture in the soil.
Plant rhododendrons now. They flower in November, so there’s an opportunity to choose the right colour and growth habit for the space in the garden.
Project for November
Drought-proofing the garden with mulch.
Central Landscapes has a wide range of great mulches (all from recycled products or by-products of timber processing) to lock in moisture at the roots of plants. Give it a boost: Apply blood and bone before spreading mulch to add some nitrogen for the plants.