Patch from Scratch – November update

What to plant in November






Climbing beans




Dwarf beans


Globe artichoke













Spring onion










Strawberry Protection

If the birds keep eating your strawberries here’s a handy way of protecting them.  Get a mixing bowl and a strip of chicken wire.  Mould the chicken wire around the outside of the mixing bowl. Separate the two and put the wire over the strawberry plant then push the edging into the ground.  Mound pea straw or compost around the outside to keep it in place.

Freezing broad beans and spinach

If you have too much spinach and broad beans to eat right now or need to free up some space for spring planting, then why not freeze them and have a supply all year round.

Pod the beans then add them to boiling water for three minutes which is bubbling.  Using a sieve take the beans from the boiling water and plunge them straight into iced water (this method is known as blanching). Pat them dry with a tea towel and place in freezer bags. They need to be frozen as quickly as possible to maximize flavour and nutritional value.

Use the same method for spinach but it only needs two minutes in the bubbling water.  Make sure you pick it early in the day so it isn’t limp. Select young leaves. Wash thoroughly in icy water to remove dirt and insects and drain. The leaves can be left whole or chopped. Use spinach within 6 months for best flavour. Add frozen spinach directly to dishes without thawing.

Slugs & Snails

Once slugs are in your garden, they multiply at an alarming rate.  Slug eggs look like translucent little balls, dispose of them if you see them in your veggie patch.  Here are a few ways to control these pests.

  • If you are installing a new raised bed, surround it with broken shell to keep them from entering your veggie patch
  • You can surround individual plants with any of the following as a deterrent. Broken egg shell, coffee grounds, course sand and sawdust.
  • Catch slugs out with a beer trap. Put a container in the ground and ensure the top is flush with ground level. Pour in some dregs of beer and check in the morning.
  • Put bricks and rocks in the veggie patch. Slugs will make a home underneath them and you can pick them all off and dispose of them.
  • Kill any that you find and leave them in the garden to deter their buddies.
  • Tui Quash pellets are bran based slug repellents that are not harmful to the environment.
  • Eco store slug and snail repellent is safe to use around individual plants although you will need to replenish after a rainfall.
  • Slugs like marigolds so you can use these as a sacrificial crop.
  • Slug patrol – go out at night or after a rainfall, collect them up and kill them by drowning them in hot water.
  • Use a plastic collar around seedlings – make by cutting a plastic bottle in half and putting holes in the top (Cloche).
  • Spray seedlings with garlic spray and re-spray after rainfall.
  • Grapefruit cut in half and placed upside down in the garden overnight. By morning the slugs collect inside it so you can easily dispose of them.

Slugs are a complete pest in the garden but once killed, they make a great compost activator so throw them in the compost bin.

Planting sweet corn

Sweetcorn is a fruit like tomatoes, however, they don’t get on too well and inhibit each others growth so plant them a good distance from each other. A popular companion planting combination for sweet corn is called the three sisters.  Plant sweet corn plants in a block 2 metres x 1metre about 30cm apart and stake each plant.  Surround each stake with climbing beans and plant squash, cucumber or melon in amongst the sweet corn.  The beans will grow up the sweet corn and the fruit will meander around the ground creating a wonderful interwoven crop with little wasted space.

What’s eating my beans?

Have you noticed little holes in your bean leaves?  It is most likely slugs and snails, look out for the silvery trail they leave behind.  There are a few ways to get rid of them.  Tuiquash works brilliantly and is bran based.  Alternatively you can use one of the suggestions below from a past newsletter.

If you want to grow your own veggies and could do with a helping hand to get the right start, then you may want to seek help.  Patch from Scratch offers an all inclusive service building vege beds for beginner organic gardeners and busy people and helping you to get up and growing.  We also offer Kits sets for DIY enthusiasts and a consultancy service for people who really want to do it all themselves but just need a bit of guidance.  For more on our services go to or call us for details 09 525 7897 / 021 334 603.

11 comments on “Patch from Scratch – November update

  1. The birds are in my Feijoa trees seem to be pulling off the red flowers.

  2. I find all your tips most helpful. Keep up the good work. Regards Barbara.

  3. why have my upright spinach plants (grown from seeds) gone straight to seed?

  4. Hi Lynda,

    Spinach is really a cool weather crop and doesn’t cope well with the heat. However, try planting strawberry spinach which is less likely to bolt during the hotter months.

  5. Thanks so much Barbara, its always good to have positive feedback

  6. I’m not sure why but try hanging some old cd’s on string from the branches – the light reflecting on them will scare the birds away.

  7. SARAH CLARKE on said:

    So, I have planted my corn and tomatoes RIGHT beside each other. Would I be better to sacrifice one and have the other thrive or shall I just grin and bear it? Everything is too well estb now to transplant I think. If transplanting was suggested tho, which of the two would I be best to transplant?
    Thanks for your time! Great site 🙂

  8. Hi Sarah,
    Hmm, I think I would probably grin and bear it, especially if they both seem to be growing ok. If you decide to transplant one, I would transplant the tomatoes but take a large area around the roots to hopefully get the whole root system.

  9. jeanette on said:

    we planted yams in early dec in southland. when do we harvest them?

  10. Trish on said:

    I have moss in my lawn. how do I control it? I have tried lime.

  11. Hi Trish,
    this isn’t really my area but from what I can gather , to win the battle with moss you should:
    – water infrequently but deeply such as once per week for 2 hours instead of frequent shallow applications. The goal is to wet the root zone deeply and then do not water until the top surface of the soil is dry.

    – fertilize in spring and fall (in northern areas) and in summer in southern areas of the country

    – mow the lawn high and mow frequently. It is better to mow the lawn at 2.5-3.5″ (height after mowing) instead of 0.5-1.0″. this result in healthier grass and makes it better at competing with moss.

    Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

48,392 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>