November is a busy month in the garden, with spring truly underway & lots of new growth. To help with that new growth & also future proof your garden for what might be a long hot summer, feeding & mulching are two jobs that can really help your garden thrive over the coming months.
1 / Plant Your Summer Vegetables
Now is the time for planting tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, sweetcorn, spring onions, watermelon & celery. Companion planting is the close planting of different plants to enhance each other's growth or protect each other, so plant tomatoes close to basil to help increase their flavour and pop in some marigolds & nasturtium to help protect your summer crops from aphids.
2 / Remember Your Roses
There are a great selection of roses in the garden centres, in bloom, to catch you eye. Roses love a rich soil, so plant with lots of compost & water thoroughly at least once a week. Use a rose fertiliser too and mulch around the base to retain soil moisture over summer. If you already have some roses in your garden, add some more compost at the base, along with rose food and mulch, so you are ready for summer.
Roses can suffer from fungal and pest damage, especially in warmer, more humid Auckland so it is always wise to have a combination fungicide / insecticide spray at hand.
3 / Love Your Lawn
Now is a great time to feed your lawn with a lawn fertiliser or weed & feed treatment. Apply the feed just before heavy rain so it can be watered in well.
4 / Prepare for Summer Growth
To help support your plants thrive & grow in this growing season, put some compost at the base of each plant along with sheep pellets (if you don't have dogs), general fertiliser & a top up of mulch.
5 / Care for your Containers
As the weather warms up, remember to water your containers every day to prevent drying out & use a liquid feed such as Seasol or worm wee every week. Replace soil with fresh container mix & add in some water crystals to help retain moisture.
For successful container planting, remember the magic formula - THRILLER | FILLER | SPILLER. The thriller is a feature plant, which is tall & has that WOW factor, such as a Cordyline. Here at Sculpt Gardens, we use Cordyline Torbay Dazzler or Burgundy Spire to create height & a focal point to the pot. Next, choose 2 or 3 types of FILLER, plants to fill the rest of the pot, such as seasonal potted colour - petunia, impatiens or marigolds. Try to choose shades of the same colour & match or contrast to the Thriller plant. Finally, choose a SPILLER, a plant to cascade over the sides of your pot. We often use ivy, Bacopa & Dichondra 'Silver Falls' to do the trick.
6 / Mulch, mulch, mulch
Can you tell we LOVE mulch for clay soil? Mulch is hands down the best way to improve the clay soil we so often see on the North Shore. As the mulch breaks down, it adds a layer of ever so needed organic material on top of the clay, which your plants will love. We advise using a mulch which can break down quickly, like a ground hugger mulch which has smaller finer bark pieces.
Grass clippings, shredded leaves and an annual application of compost to the base of plants will all help to increase the levels of organic material into your soil.
Mulch also reduces the need for water in the hotter months by keeping moisture in the ground longer, and suppresses those pesky weeds too. We recommend using a 10cm deep layer; always take care to leave space around the base of plants, so that the mulch doesn’t rot against the base of the plant.
6 / Tomato Time
Tomatoes need some care to ensure a bumper crop. Feed regularly with a liquid feed, such as Seasol, worm wee or a liquid tomato feed. Keep tomato plants well supported with stakes and ties and pinch out any side shoots at each lead joint. Remember to water regularly & deeply.
Enjoy your time spent getting your garden healthy & productive over November. If you love to have a beautiful garden but would rather we do it for you, book HERE for a FREE quote.