Digger Dan’s Monthly Garden Tips – November

The Veggie Garden

Warm settled weather is encouraging us all to get out grow! If you want to grow your own food now’s a great time to learn.

  • Get to know your soil – If you’re not sure what’s needed, click the link to read the article How to Improve Poor Soils
  • Correct spacing – Give your tomatoes, zucchinis and pumpkins a good square metre of their own space; sow corn, beans and sugar snap peas only 20cm apart in their rows and give most lettuces and the quick herbs: basil, coriander and dill around 30cm of space.
  • Wise watering – The weather pendulum has swung from a wet soggy September to drying soils in October: if this continues we will have very parched soils going into Christmas. For November it pays to remember that many of your young seedlings have roots no more than 5cm into their new soil, which can dry easily on a daily basis. Water often, daily even, but do it in the morning or after 3pm, but before the area gets cold.
  • Pest Watch – Squash aphids or hose them off and begin the war against white butterfly and their caterpillar progeny: Derris Dust or Kiwicare’s No Caterpillars is helpful. Newly planted seedlings still need protection from slugs and snails
  • Cool New Crop – There are seedlings of Celeriac, Lebanese Cucumber and Cos lettuce (best for Caesar salads) around now so go for it. (Celeriac is related to celery so keep it well irrigated).

The Rest of the Garden

  • Fruit Trees – Hang Codling Moth traps in Pip fruit trees. Control aphid on citrus trees and leaf-roller caterpillars on feijoas. Mildew on leaves is best controlled with Yates Fungus Fighter or Nature’s Way Fungus Spray. Feed bananas, citrus and pawpaw with citrus food.
  • Roses – Treat for aphids and black spot. Water regularly or surround with thick mulch.
  • Thinning & Trimming – Remove the spent centres of rhododendron blooms – this will result in multiple side shoots of buds for next season. Trim hedges before it gets too hot and cut back early flowerers such as lavenders, delphiniums and daisies for a second display. Deadhead camellias, euphorbia and hellebores.
  • If you’ve forgotten – this year it’s not too late to cut back hibiscus, old growth on tall salvias and a good time to shape winter flowering shrubs like camellias.
  • Fresh Color Petunia seedlings, shade-loving impatiens and a host of new season’s perennials are around now to brighten pots, beds and borders. Plant, water with Living Earth Liquid Compost and keep the slug bait around young plants.

The Lawn

  • Fertilise, fertilise, fertilise. That’s the key at this time of year. We are now finally starting to get spring growth in our lawns and with this comes a much greater demand from the plant for food, especially nitrogen.
  • Poor nutrition is the single biggest factor for lawns failing. The reasons are not always understood because New Zealanders historically sowed their lawn and the only maintenance done from that day on was to scalp it once a week. When a lawn is hungry the plant has a reduced capacity to handle stress whether it is heat, draught, wear and tear or even pest damage and weed invasion. It is essential to have strong healthy plants that are robust and prepared for stress.
  • The best way to fertilise a lawn is with a slow releasing fertiliser which will give you two major benefits. The first is that grass plants always want available nutrients and as slow release fertilisers supply a constant trickle of nutrients the plant always has that food when it needs it. The second major benefit is that slow release fertilisers can last up to 12 weeks which means that you do not have to worry about frequent applications. Slow release fertilisers are usually non burning and safe to apply in any conditions.
  • Turfmaster Gold 22-2-4 is high performance professional grade slow release fertiliser which is perfect for use on all lawn grass types.
  • Turfmaster Gold is available in 4kg and 22.7kg packs
  • Always sweep or blow fertiliser granules off any paths or tiled areas as they may stain. Apply fertilisers with a suitable spreader such as the GTi hand spreader. It is not recommended that you apply high quality fertilisers by hand.

Our Central Landscape & Garden Supplies Yards are open every day during November for all your Garden Projects. Come and see us for great advice and service! Don’t forget our great home delivery service or borrow our free loan trailers!

Call us on 0800 005444

Digger Dan - Central landscapes

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