From Michael Coulter

November is one of the really busy times in the garden as it is the end of Spring and the start of Summer. With the warmer and longer days plants and weeds grow at a very rapid rate as do many of the pests and diseases that will attack them. The weather has a very big influence on how we will need to attend to our plants. We are experiencing a very dry and windy El Nino weather pattern at the moment which is predicted to continue through to the end of the year so we will need to take notice of our watering and where we plant our plants to ensure that they will be able to cope with these growing conditions.

The use of mulches and good watering methods will help the plants to cope with these extreme growing conditions, pests such as thrips and spider mites like these kind of conditions and are some of the main pests to be on the look out for. As we are likely to be watering more often liquid feeds may be needed more often throughout the season especially with container grown plants and plants that require high feeding such as tomatoes.



  1. Do not use treated grass clippings in the compost or as a mulch as they may harm other plants.
  2. To keep lawns green water regularly and do not cut too low.
  3. Treat for weeds before the weather gets too hot.
  4. Give regular feeds a little often watered in gives the best results.



Flower Garden

  1. Summer bedding plants can now be planted.
  2. Chrysanthemums and dahlias can be planted now but remember to put in supports at the same time. This helps you see the young plants and they are there when support is needed as they grow.
  3. Roses will need plenty of water and keep a watch for pests and diseases as they can appear suddenly.
  4. After the leaves have dried off on Spring bulbs remove the tops and cover the holes left to stop any pests getting at the bulb.
  5. Mulch around as many of the shrubs as possible, especially the likes of rhododendrons, daphne etc.
  6. Perennial plants will grow very fast so put in the supports before they get too big to keep them in bounds.



Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Sow beans, corn, carrots, onions, leeks, parsnips, beetroot.
  2. Plant main crop potatoes.
  3. Plant out all the warm growing plants.
  4. Keep the hoe busy on the small weeds before they compete with our crops.
  5. After petal fall on the pip fruit trees treat for pests and diseases.
  6. Water regularly but well.
  7. Citrus trees need plenty of water and also like a good mulch around the drip line.