Gardening on the North Coast - #301
As the flowers, the fruit and the vegetables begin that final, inexorable journey from garden to house, do not be completely seduced by satisfaction.
Enjoy and enthuse. Allow enchantment and enrapture. But beware the sloth of success. November is not one of our biggest planting months, but despite the best mulching efforts, those voracious summer weeds persist. There are routine sowings to be made and bed rotation and preparation must be continued.
Pumpkins, melons, cucumbers and squash should be planted this month. A trick with these plants is to select the patch six months before planting and use it as a compost heap, digging lots of it in well before sowing. Make mounds with a concave indent and when the seed has germinated, water around the roots and not by overhead spray. Risk of mildew will be reduced.
In particular, keep the lettuce and tomatoes moving with those fortnightly feeds of liquid fertiliser, remembering that zestful plants are far less susceptible to disease and insect attack.
Plantings include: Aubergine *Beans *Beetroot *Capsicum *Carrot *Celery *Corn *Cucumber *Lettuce *Marrow *Melon *Parsnip *Pumpkin *Radish *Tomato *Zucchini.
Don’t despair if you can’t resist some bagged or potted fruit trees at your local nursery. Ours is a forgiving climate and with the right treatment, most species will survive a careful summer transplant.
Pawpaws are showing their flush of summer growth and it is advisable to have seed sown by the end of November. There are options with the pawpaw – they can be easily propagated from the seed (the fresher, the better) of the non-hybrid types or they can be purchased as bi-sexual and hybrid models. However, all demand well-drained soil. Plant out in February or March. Earlier plantings tend to grow too tall for comfort.
If you have propagated male and female pawpaws, remember that one male is required for pollination of seven females. During Spring and Summer, fertilise and/or topdress every two months for large, flavoursome fruit.
All summer-flowering annuals listed in October can still be planted in November. Remember, a sprinkle of compost or manure under the mulch will do wonders for the blooms.
Plantings include: Chrysanthemum *Lobelia *Marigold *Nasturtium *Petunia *Phlox *Zinnia.
– From ‘Gardening on the North Coast and Thereabouts’ by Stephen Brouwer.
(Compiled by Lydia Kindred)