November's gardening to do list | SA Garden and Home

November’s gardening to do list

TEXT MARIANNE ALEXANDER PHOTOGRAPHS MARIANNE ALEXANDER
Last updated on 1 November 2018

All this month’s must do gardening chores in one place

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For the plant enthusiast:

Fill gaps with summer flowerers that’ll keep blooming through to autumn. This includes petunias, dianthus, alyssum, cleome, zinnias, ageratum, gaillardia, hollyhocks, lobelias, portulacas, salvias and verbenas. In semi-shade try begonias, torenia and coleus (solenostemon).

READ MORE: Growing begonias

Torenia

Torenia

  • Apply a final blueing agent to hydrangeas.
  • Keep deadheading and feeding your roses to encourage new growth for the next flush in January.
  • Plant out refrigerated amaryllis (hippeastrums) bulbs now for flowers at Christmas as they take about six weeks to flower.
  • Feed winter-flowering hellebores, winter iris (Iris unguicularis), bergenias and indigenous daisies like osteospermum; divide and replant those that have outgrown their space. Feed summer bulbs, like cannas, agapanthus, day and Inca lilies and dahlias regularly.
  • Cut back perennials like rudbeckia, helenium and echinacea, Phlox paniculata and Michaelmas daisies by third now to stop them growing too tall and leggy and encourage them to produce more flowers. This method is known as the Chelsea Chop. Cut back the old stems of foxgloves and delphiniums just below the flowers and feed to ensure a second flush.
  • Trim topiary trees and hedges which have put on their spring growth spurt.
  • Remove the shoots on variegated shrubs that have reverted to green.

READ MORE: Growing hydrangeas

Helenium

Helenium

For the kitchen gardener:

  • Mulch strawberries with straw.
  • Cut back old canes of loganberries and boysenberries.
  • Sow parsley seed; refrigerate it for a few days first to speed up germination.
  • Nip out the tips of basil for bushier plants.
  • Feed green peppers regularly and keep them well watered to ensure they’ll produce crisp, tasty fruit.

Green pepperGreen pepper

Pick baby marrows regularly to prevent them growing too big and becoming watery and tasteless.
For the time-pressed gardener:

  • Reset your watering system’s computer to suit the seasonal weather.
  • Feed the garden with slow-release fertiliser as this way you only need do it two to three times a year. Give a high-nitrogen food to leafy vegetables and foliage plants like lettuce, Swiss chard and hostas; flowering and fruiting plants and root veggies need a more balanced fertiliser like 3:1:5 or 2:3:4.

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