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November

ANNUALS

Feed annuals with a liquid fertiliser every two to three weeks. Try Nitrosol, Multifeed P or Phostrogen. Dead-head regularly. Red spider could make an appearance now, so be on the lookout for that. Look on the underside of leaves. Snails and slugs will be on the warpath too. Scatter snailbait in the late afternoon after watering.

These quick-growing summer-flowering annuals can be sown now:

Alyssum
Dahlia (bedding)
Dwarf marigold
Eschscholtzia californica (Californian poppy)
Iberis umbellata (candytuft)
Portulaca
Tagetes
Nasturtium

Although it seems crazy to think about winter gardening in the middle of summer, it's time to start sowing some winter-flowering seed. Ornamental kale and primula malacoides for example.

PERENNIALS

Dead-head regularly. Mulch with compost around each plant and don't be mean! A 10cm layer will do wonders for your plants, keeping the roots cool and moist. You wont have to water as often. Never allow the roots to dry out completely though. This is particularly important in winter-rainfall areas where rainfalls are few and far between. Divide primroses when they've finished flowering.

Seed of the following perennials can be sown now in seed trays:

Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Felicia amelloides (blue daisy)
Alyssum
Aquilegia caerulea (columbine)
Argyranthemum (chrysanthemum) hybrids
Argyranthemum maximum (chrysanthemum) (Shasta daisy)
Aster novi-belgii (Michaelmas daisy)
Bellis perennis (English daisy)
Bergenia cordifolia
Begonia
Centaurea candidissima
Centaurea macrocephala
Cerastium tomentosum (snow in summer)
Delphinium
Digitalis (foxglove)
Gaillardia x grandiflora
Gazania
Gerbera jamesonii (Barberton daisy)
Gypsophila paniculata
Helianthemum
Heliotropium
Hypoestes sanguinolenta
Liatris
Limonium
Lobelia cardinalis
Lupinus (lupins)
Nierembergia
Papaver orientale (Oriental poppy)
Penstemon
Phlox decussata
Primula x polyantha (primula acaulis)
Primula veris (primrose)
Scabiosa caucasia
Viola odorata (sweet violet)

BULBS

As the foliage of winter-flowering bulbs dies down, some can be lifted and stored.

Summer flowering bulbs should be watered at least once a week. Never let them dry out.

If you have Amaryllis planted in the garden, watch out for the amaryllis caterpillar (lily borer). Use Karbaspray or similar, but only spray the affected plants. Amaryllis make perfect pot plants too.
Cannas should be fed once a month. Scatter one tablespoon of 2:3:2 around each clump. Water deeply once a week.

Feed dahlias once a month with a liquid fertiliser such as Multifeed P, Nitrosol or Phostrogen. Hose down the foliage to discourage red spider. Stake the plants as they grow.

Irises can be lifted and divided as they finish flowering.

Keep the soil around liliums well-mulched to keep the roots cool and feed once a month with a liquid fertiliser. Tie the growing stems to firm stakes.

LAWNS

Feed your lawn every 4 to 6 weeks with 3:2:1(28)(SR), a slow-release fertiliser that wont burn the lawn. Mow at least once a week. Twice is better! Change the direction in which you mow often to prevent ridges and uneven growth. Water in the early morning so that it can dry out by the evening.

SHRUBS

Softwood cuttings can still be taken. Water during dry weather. Always water deeply. Make a dam around the plant and water close to the base. Let the water trickle in slowly. Lay a 10cm mulch layer of compost or bark chips around each bush.

Fuchsias will need watering every two or three days now. Pinch back to encourage more flowers. Feed once a month with a liquid fertiliser.

Hydrangeas need regular watering. In very hot weather, hose down the foliage. Feed once a month with a liquid fertiliser or 1 tablespoon of 2:3:2 per bush. Water in well.

ROSES

Dead-head regularly. Cut back to the first leaf with 5 leaflets and a dormant bud pointing in the direction that you want the new shoot to grow. Give each plant a large handful of 8:1:5 granular fertiliser or an organic equivalent. Watch out for all sorts of pests. Remove beetles by hand rather than spraying, if you've go the time and patience!

FRUIT

If you're lucky enough to be able to grow bananas, feed each plant with 30g of 3:1:5, scattered around the root area. Mulch and water well.

Cape gooseberry seeds can be sown now in winter rainfall areas.

Scale on citrus trees can be sprayed with a light mineral oil, or wiped with a cloth dipped in methylated spirits. If you notice a green caterpillar with bright orange "horns" munching the leaves, leave it alone. It's called the "orange dog" and turns into a beautiful yellow and black butterfly. Of course if there are too many, you'll have to remove them or you wont have much of a tree left!

Once all the fruit of Mulberries has been picked, feed each tree with 2kg of 3:1:5 scattered around the root area. Start 10cm from the stem and scatter out a little beyond the dripline of the branches.

Rasberries should be mulched with well rotted manure or compost. If you use compost, feed with 2:3:2. Never let the plants dry out.

VEGETABLES

Water regularly and feed once a month with a liquid fertiliser. Plant new batches once a month for a continuous supply. Many vegetables can be sown now throughout the country. Ask your nurseryman for advice, or read the seed packets next time you visit your nursery.

Tie tomatoes to stakes using twist-ties or rafia. Don't use fishing line - it'll damage the stems especially if you're in a windy area.

Pick beans twice a week to encourage the plant to keep bearing. The less you pick, the less it will bear. Don't pick when the plants are wet, though. The leaves are more likely to be attacked by fungi if they're handled when wet.

In sub-tropical areas, plant sweetcorn and make a last planting of cucumbers.


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