November Gardening In NZ
Gardening in NZ– November Tips
Spring is in full force for gardening in NZ. The temperatures are rising. Plants are growing quickly. It’s a busy time for gardeners. Young plants may require watering. Most deciduous trees are in various stages of flower and/or leaf growth. It’s a good time to mulch around plants, but leave air space around the base of the plant. Piling mulch against the stem of plants can cause collar rot that can be fatal for the plant.
Tasks For This Month NZ Gardeners
If you’ve been organised and made a plan for your garden, it’s time to do the work to implement it.
If you’re not sure what to do then it’s a good idea to get professional advice, by contacting a landscaper.
When you consider what your property is worth and how much time and money can be spent on a garden then it’s worth while getting it right the first time. You wouldn’t want to wait any longer with seeking professional help because there’s always a pre-Christmas rush in December.
Slug and snail – If you’re planting small seedlings you’ll need to control slugs and snails that can make seedlings disappear over night. Baits and/or traps can be used. Remembering that some baits are poisonous to birds and animals, so need to be located safely, such as under a cover. There are slug and snail baits that are not poisonous to animals and birds but they are more expensive. You can use the beer in a buried container trap method with some success. I usually place baits close to the seedlings.
Ants – Can be a problem especially in northern districts, so consider placing baits under the house and/or in places sheltered from the rain near ground level, to get them before their numbers build up.
Pollination If you’re concerned you have a lack of bees to do your pollinating you can use a small brush about the size of a bee to go between the flowers compatible varieties to hand pollinate. i.e. If you’ve got two varieties of apple blossoming then go to one trees flowers and dab the brush on to the centre of the flower to cover it with pollen, then go to the other apple trees and dab the brush onto their flower centres. Don’t forget to go back to the original tree and dab the flower centre to ensure cross pollination. Cross pollination is when the pollen from from one compatible variety is received on the stigma of a different variety of compatible plant. Many plant flowers require cross pollination before they will produce a fruit.
Perennials – Your tree and shrub planting should be finished by now to make the most of the growing season, before the soil starts getting dry.
Get rid of all the weeds before they go to seed, and focus on getting any weed seedlings that are emerging. It’s easier to kill them while their young.
Remove anything that is going to seed unless you’re wanting to keep the seed. You do need to bear in mind that you can get issues with cross pollination of similar varieties, with collecting your own seeds.
Prepare your soil before planting any vegetable seeds or seedlings. Mix any fertilisers into the soil and try to avoid direct contact of seedlings with fresh fertiliser as it can burn roots. I prefer organic fertilisers such as animal manures, which tend to increase to soil life forms such as earth worms that increase soil fertility. Watch out for tree roots getting into your vege garden, they may need to be chopped off before they compete for water and nutrients. Continue sowing and planting veges in amounts that equal your likely consumption, so you don’t end up with too much all at once.
I usually start my vege planting season with punnets of small seedlings, because it gives you a two to three weeks head start from sowing seeds. Then later in the season I make a successive sowing of seeds to replace harvested crops. This gives you a continuous harvest over the growing season. Generally I find direct sown seeds give you the strongest plants because there’s no transplanting damage done. The main mistake I’ve noticed with seed sowing is to sow seeds too close together, resulting in more labour required to thin out later and damage to small plants with the thinning process. So when sowing bear in mind the size of the mature plant and allow sufficient space, while allowing for some seeds not germinating.
Veges to plant or sow –
Beans (both climbing and dwarf), beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, cape gooseberry, capsicum, carrots, celery, chicory, Chinese cabbage, choko, cress, cucumber, eggplant, endive, kohl rabi, kumara, leeks, lettuce, marrows, okra, peas, marrows, melon, mustard, spring onions, parsnip, pepper, potato tubers, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb (both seed or crowns), salsify, silver beet, squash, spinach, sweet corn, tomato, swede, turnip.
Beans, cucumbers, pumpkins, and melons require minimum germination temperatures of 15C, the optimum germination temperature is 24C. So be patient and wait until temperatures are suitable.
Plant and/or sow Chives, chervil, dill, parsley, rocket, sweet basil etc.
Pip and Stone Fruit –
Are in various stages of flowering, fruit set and growth. If you want to control pests and diseases with chemicals, you will need to spray regularly during the growing season.
Most citrus fruit are ripe and need to be picked to avoid having them go dry when the tree removes the juice for growing the new seasons crop.
It’s best not to leave the fruit on the tree too long, because it can reduce the size of the following crop and get you into a biennial bearing cycle where you get alternating light crops one season then a heavy crop the next season.
Berry fruits –
If you’re into chemicals, your spray program will need to start.
Raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and loganberries – May need support for new growth, such as a trellis or wire mesh. I don’t like using plastic mesh because it breaks down in the sun and becomes brittle and breaks.
Goose berries and Blackcurrants – If you haven’t already give them a general fertiliser now.
Strawberries – They should already be planted by now. You will need protect the berries from birds and snails and slugs. The birds protection usually consists of netting held in place by a frame. Give them some general fertiliser if you haven’t already..
Green Houses/Glass houses –
Control any slugs and snails. Remove any dead matter, weed and apply compost and/or fertiliser, and dig in if needed. Plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, eggplant, marrow, melon, and any other veges you want.
Pot and Container Grown Plants
Remove dead leaves and dust with a damp cloth or spray. Re-pot in to a larger pot with fresh potting mix if they appear to be root bound.
Give them some slow release fertiliser and kill any insects on them.
Ornamental Garden jobs for Gardening in NZ
Give them some fertiliser if you haven’t already. If you use chemical disease and pest control you need to spray regularly during the growing season.
Mulch with compost, around root zone, but keep it off the crown.
Remove weeds and apply snail and slug control measures.
Sow seeds of: ageratum, alyssum, amaranthus, aster, balsam, bedding begonia, Californian poppy, carnation, celosia, chrysanthemum, cockscomb, coleus, Cleome, cosmos, dahlia (seed), delphinium, dianthus, everlasting daisy, galardia, gazania, geranium, gerbera, gloxinia, gypsophila, honesty, impatiens, kochia, marigold, mignonette, nastutium, nemesia, ornamental chilli, petunia, phlox, portulaca, rudbeckia, salvia, snapdragon, spider flower, statice, straw flower, sunflower, Swan River daisy, verbena, viscaria, and zinnia.
Plant seedlings of: alyssum, aquilegia, canterbury bells, carnations, cornflower, cosmos, cineraria, delphinium, pansies, polyanthus, poppy, gypsophila, hollyhock, stock, and viola .
Trees and Shrubs jobs for Gardening in NZ
All your tree and shrub planting should already be done by now to make the most of the growing season ahead.
Lawn jobs for Gardening in NZ
Mow regularly at least fortnightly, to keep a dense swath of grass. Don’t cut too low. The grass should be between 20 to 25 mm after you’ve cut it. If you’ve got a lot of weeds, now is a good time to eradicate them, and if needed sow new grass seed to fill any empty patches.
Compost jobs for Gardening in NZ
Heaps that consist of predominantly unrecognisable matter are ready to be spread around planted areas as a mulch, or for digging in to the soil.
Make new compost heaps by incorporating grass clippings, dead leaves, vegetable scraps with a sprinkling of lime and animal manure etc. Turn and mix existing compost heaps that haven’t decomposed sufficiently.