Michael Coulter shares his Spring gardening tips on everything to do in the busy month of November. From what to plant and when to water.

November is the month that our gardens move from Spring growth to Summer. Some of our early plantings will be almost ready for  harvesting and the first of the strawberries will be ripening. Although we have had plenty of rain over the Winter there has not been much this Spring with rainfall at 50% of the average for this time of the year.

Watering may be needed to keep plants growing but as there is plenty moisture in the sub soil only the top few centremetres will be required for the plants that have their roots near the surface (including lawns).

Many Spring flowering shrubs and trees will have completed their flowering; to keep them tidy prune now to promote new growth that will flower next Spring.

Shrubs that have been in the ground for a number of years will respond to some general fertiliser and a good mulch to freshen them up.

This month is the traditional time for planting out the Summer annuals so prepare the soil by adding compost and fertiliser. Choose good quality plants and plant them in the evening, or on a cool day to reduce any transplant shock.

Pest and disease control on fruit trees is important this month as the rapid growth on the trees can mean missing signs of infection. This can make control difficult once the problem is already affecting fruit quality.

Perennials will be growing fast and will need to be staked before they get out of hand

Begonias, dahlias and chrysanthemums should be ready for planting out (most of these will be started off inside a greenhouse), they should harden off outside for at lest a week beforehand. 

Greenhouse tomatoes will grow rapidly; regular watering, liquid feeding once week and removing the laterals are the main tasks. Also keep a watch out for white fly before it becomes a problem.

In the vegetable garden warm loving crops can be planted and all other crops sown or planted to ensure a continual supply of produce.

For more tips and gardening advice come along to Garden Life, the CHS monthly Member's meeting.

Good Gardening, Michael Coulter

Remember: questions can be posted on HortTalk or you can email Michael directly at coultchrys@xtra.co.nz