November in your edible garden.
By now your soil is likely to be warming up and, as a result, I imagine you will be seeing fabulous germination and growth in your seedlings and plants.
November is a month of growth, usually the month before the real heat sets in and all the gardens are lusciously green. It’s the month when I will plant out much of the vegetable garden. I keep my raised beds covered for about four weeks while the young plants get established, protecting them from the birds and the late frosts we get here in Wanaka. It’s heart breaking to lose all the plants and have to start all over again.
By the end of the month I will be harvesting (outside grown) leafy greens; pak choi, spinach, drunken woman lettuce, mizuna and mesclun. There is already an abundance of fennel, thyme, coriander, parsley, chives and mint.
I plant out my first seedling courgettes, cucumbers and chillis later this month. Runner beans will go outside, too. Basil, which I have been nurturing in the glasshouse, goes into pots at the front door, under the eaves of the house.
We will have a variety gorgeous edible products at the Geraldine Summer Fete (2nd November). If you happen to be attending, please stop by, we are at stand S23.
In this issue:
- Start dedicating 10 mins a day to these three Ps
- Pest control
- Pulling a few weeds
- Planting slow and steady for a long season
Pest control. Wander around and check for pesky pests such as slugs and aphids. Soon the white butterflies will start laying eggs on the backs of the leaves. They, in turn, will hatch into decent-sized, hungry caterpillars whose eating habits cause so much destruction. I actually don’t plant brassicas at this time of year to try to avoid this problem.
Pull the weeds. Sorry to say, but the weeds will grow this month as quickly as your gorgeous plants. If you get in the habit of pulling a few weeds daily, it really does help to keep this part of gardening manageable. Just select one spot and focus on weeding that zone only.
As I mentioned last month, keep planting younger plants beside and beneath more mature ones, filling all the gaps, as it will help suppress those pesky weeds. This will set you up for a continuous supply into autumn. As the weather gets hotter, it will also help protect the plants which are susceptible to heat.
Bare soil isn’t your friend. It always tries to cover itself, usually with weeds. So the more the soil is covered with plants, the less space there is for weeds.
Planting; slow and steady wins the race. Every few weeks, plant more salad and leafy greens. From now on, herbs, such as coriander, are best planted in more shady spots. The same goes for Pak choi. This helps to stop the plant bolting in the heat.
Less frequently, such as monthly, plant a cucumber and courgette to ensure you have a continual supply of these right through to autumn.
I will be exhibiting gorgeous edible products at the Geraldine Summer Fete (2nd November). If you happen to be attending, please stop by and say hi, we are at stand S23
Happy growing. Enjoy every minute of this growing month.
Until next month.