Spring Gardening Tasks for November
All summer vegetables should be in active growth by now including beans, beetroot, cabbage, celery, corn, cucumber, courgettes, lettuce, peas, pumpkin, radish, spring onions, spinach, tomatoes, silverbeet. Ensure young developing plants are well-watered without overwatering. Continue to remove laterals and tie up tomato plants. Stagger plantings to extend harvesting time. Apply side dressings of vegetable fertiliser, especially to those ‘gross-feeders’ e.g sweet corn. Mulch around plants with pea straw to improve soil water retention and help reduce infestations of weeds.
Summer Flowering Annuals
Should now be in vigorous growth and producing early flowers. They include Alyssum, ageratum, arctotis, asters, cornflowers, cosmos, marigolds, nemesias, phlox, portulacas, and zinnias. Water regularly, especially when young seedlings are first planted. Summer flowering annuals can also be very successfully grown in large pots or containers.
As with vegetables and flowering annuals, all new season herbs should be growing vigorously by mid-November. It is now safe to plant basil as the chance of a very late frost is fairly remote. Herbs thrive in a ‘fine’ well-drained soil, fully exposed to all day sun. They struggle in heavy clay soils and in shady parts of the garden.
All fruit trees are in full growth mode in November so apply side dressings of fruit tree fertiliser, especially to newly planted specimens. Irrigate deeply and regularly to help develop a strong, sturdy root system. Mulch to reduce water loss, suppress weeds and eventually improve the soil around the fruit trees.
Strawberry plants should be producing masses of ripe berries in November. Plants require minimal care. Cover the strawberry beds with bed netting now as somehow birds always seem to find strawberry patches!
Another rewarding month for rose growers in the home garden. Many varieties are at their best in November. Continue dead-heading finished flowers and apply rose fertiliser every 4-6 weeks until mid-December. Spread compost around roses to encourage healthy root growth.
November is the perfect time for the first new season’s trim of hedges. A ‘little and often’ technique is recommended for maintaining a dense, bushy hedge. This is especially important with newly planted hedges. Water deeply and fertilise regularly to encourage vigorous growth.
November is the last ‘safe’ month to sow a new lawn or to patch up areas of an existing lawn before it becomes too hot and dry. Lawn fertiliser can be applied to encourage strong grass growth. Water immediately after spreading the fertiliser. Irrigate lawns when required to help maintain consistent grass growth.
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs
Fertiliser plants regularly with general garden fertiliser. This is especially important with young plants. Mulch around all plants to prevent water loss over the hot summer months and to help supress weed growth. Prune young trees to encourage the development of a strong framework that will support later mature growth.