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november gardening

November Gardening

You can’t beat home grown vegetables for real freshness with all their vitamins intact.

 

And you don’t have to have green fingers to grow tasty vegetables ... simply give the soil a start by lightly forking in some Nichols Compost, a light dusting of fertiliser, remove a few weeds and you are ready to go!  Frequent hoeing of the soil allows the sunshine to warm the soil.

 

Make the most of these sunny days to sow a few spring onions, early carrots, spinach, radish, snowball turnip as well as some early potatoes such as Jersey Benne, Liseta, Swift, or Rocket. Digging the humble spud is part of the magic and mystery of gardening ... it’s like buried treasure!

 

Broccoli is absolutely choc-o-block full of vitamins. And the common cabbage has become a designer plant now with round heads, conical heads, some with puckered leafy heads and purple heads but all are packed with vitamins. Then there are our simply superb club-root resistant ‘Success’ cabbage plants. Our customers are singing the praises of this new discovery.

 

Don’t forget to lay some slug bait around all your new seedlings because snails love nice tender vegetable plants too, and, believe it or not, they can gobble eight times their body weight in just one night!

 

TOMATO PLANTING time is here again.

 

There are an astounding number of varieties in all shapes and sizes – just remember, whatever the variety, always buy sturdy plants that have a short space between leaf joints.  Plants that are tall and puny have been grown in overcrowded conditions and will never thrive or fruit well.

 

Nichols tomato plants are grown here in the south. There are brand new hybrids as well as the old favourites, not to mention my favourite - TastyTom - which is just the perfect ‘snax biscuit’ size and ever so sweet to eat.

 

The aristocrats of the tomato family are our ’X Generation’ grafted tomato plants which are strong and healthy - and the healthier the plant, the more resistant it is to diseases.

 

Plant each tomato plant at least 5cm deeper than they were in the punnet into fresh clean soil. And don’t over water in the early stages - small plants don’t need much water and wet cold soil is far too cold for tiny new roots to grow away strongly. Space the plants for good air circulation because planted too closely will result in weak spindly plants.

 

Tomatoes need tying to a stake, or twined up strong strings hanging from the glasshouse roof, and laterals (these are the side shoots at the junction of leaf and stem) should be pinched out as they appear.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a glorious time of year with warm sunshine turning the garden into green and gold as daffodils shout ‘we are back again’ as they nod their heads in the breeze.

 

The Primula brigade are starting their spring performance as well. Our garden centres have a wonderful range of Ballerina and Barnhaven double primroses in shades of lilac, plum and pink which are truly irresistible as well as lovely soft colours of lemon, apricot and white.

 

Look out for the Candelabra Primulas with tiered swirls of flowers carried on long stems, flowering until early summer, in sumptuous tones of crimson with dark eyes of purple or red to softer pink tints.

 

Boronia Megastigma or Brown Boronia is one of the most loved fragrances of spring and always a winner in our garden centre.  Though they have a reputation of being a short lived shrub they are so worthwhile. 

 

And here’s a couple of tips to improve your success ... It’s important to know that the brown boronia are an Australian bog plant and so if planted in a cooler semi-shade position with compost they will grow much better than the hot sunny place most of us choose, where their poor roots frizzle in the heat. The other secret is to cut back the plant by one third, after flowering, then mulch with compost.

 

 

 

Magnolias are among the most glamorous trees or shrubs. They range from deciduous shrubs to magnificent tall evergreen trees. Early magnolias furry buds are now rapidly opening on naked branches so that we can enjoy their lovely goblet blooms.  We have a fantastic range now in stock at Nichols, and it’s a fantastic time to plant trees and shrubs, before the heat of late Spring and Summer sets in. (Pictured: Magnolia ‘Ian’s Red’)

 

Spring suggests blossom and the Crab-apples are charming garden trees that have the prettiest pink and white blossom then later delight us when their autumn fruits appear. Crab apples are the perfect trees for small gardens with their pleasing shapes.

 

The Clematis tribe arrive this month. If space is at a premium put in a pole or two and this will allow you to grow more than would otherwise be possible as well as adding much more interest to your border. When planting clematis give them a good start in life and dig a decent sized hole, work in some compost and plant so that the stem is at least 10cm deeper than what the base is now.

 

For a large sunny wall there is nothing more beautiful than Wisteria with long racemes of lilac blo

You can’t beat home grown vegetables for real freshness with all their vitamins intact.

 

And you don’t have to have green fingers to grow tasty vegetables ... simply give the soil a start by lightly forking in some Nichols Compost, a light dusting of fertiliser, remove a few weeds and you are ready to go!  Frequent hoeing of the soil allows the sunshine to warm the soil.

 

Make the most of these sunny days to sow a few spring onions, early carrots, spinach, radish, snowball turnip as well as some early potatoes such as Jersey Benne, Liseta, Swift, or Rocket. Digging the humble spud is part of the magic and mystery of gardening ... it’s like buried treasure!

 

Broccoli is absolutely choc-o-block full of vitamins. And the common cabbage has become a designer plant now with round heads, conical heads, some with puckered leafy heads and purple heads but all are packed with vitamins. Then there are our simply superb club-root resistant ‘Success’ cabbage plants. Our customers are singing the praises of this new discovery.

 

Don’t forget to lay some slug bait around all your new seedlings because snails love nice tender vegetable plants too, and, believe it or not, they can gobble eight times their body weight in just one night!

 

TOMATO PLANTING time is here again.

 

There are an astounding number of varieties in all shapes and sizes – just remember, whatever the variety, always buy sturdy plants that have a short space between leaf joints.  Plants that are tall and puny have been grown in overcrowded conditions and will never thrive or fruit well.

 

Nichols tomato plants are grown here in the south. There are brand new hybrids as well as the old favourites, not to mention my favourite - TastyTom - which is just the perfect ‘snax biscuit’ size and ever so sweet to eat.

 

The aristocrats of the tomato family are our ’X Generation’ grafted tomato plants which are strong and healthy - and the healthier the plant, the more resistant it is to diseases.

 

Plant each tomato plant at least 5cm deeper than they were in the punnet into fresh clean soil. And don’t over water in the early stages - small plants don’t need much water and wet cold soil is far too cold for tiny new roots to grow away strongly. Space the plants for good air circulation because planted too closely will result in weak spindly plants.

 

Tomatoes need tying to a stake, or twined up strong strings hanging from the glasshouse roof, and laterals (these are the side shoots at the junction of leaf and stem) should be pinched out as they appear.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a glorious time of year with warm sunshine turning the garden into green and gold as daffodils shout ‘we are back again’ as they nod their heads in the breeze.

 

The Primula brigade are starting their spring performance as well. Our garden centres have a wonderful range of Ballerina and Barnhaven double primroses in shades of lilac, plum and pink which are truly irresistible as well as lovely soft colours of lemon, apricot and white.

 

Look out for the Candelabra Primulas with tiered swirls of flowers carried on long stems, flowering until early summer, in sumptuous tones of crimson with dark eyes of purple or red to softer pink tints.

 

Boronia Megastigma or Brown Boronia is one of the most loved fragrances of spring and always a winner in our garden centre.  Though they have a reputation of being a short lived shrub they are so worthwhile. 

 

And here’s a couple of tips to improve your success ... It’s important to know that the brown boronia are an Australian bog plant and so if planted in a cooler semi-shade position with compost they will grow much better than the hot sunny place most of us choose, where their poor roots frizzle in the heat. The other secret is to cut back the plant by one third, after flowering, then mulch with compost.

 

 

 

Magnolias are among the most glamorous trees or shrubs. They range from deciduous shrubs to magnificent tall evergreen trees. Early magnolias furry buds are now rapidly opening on naked branches so that we can enjoy their lovely goblet blooms.  We have a fantastic range now in stock at Nichols, and it’s a fantastic time to plant trees and shrubs, before the heat of late Spring and Summer sets in. (Pictured: Magnolia ‘Ian’s Red’)

 

Spring suggests blossom and the Crab-apples are charming garden trees that have the prettiest pink and white blossom then later delight us when their autumn fruits appear. Crab apples are the perfect trees for small gardens with their pleasing shapes.

 

The Clematis tribe arrive this month. If space is at a premium put in a pole or two and this will allow you to grow more than would otherwise be possible as well as adding much more interest to your border. When planting clematis give them a good start in life and dig a decent sized hole, work in some compost and plant so that the stem is at least 10cm deeper than what the base is now.

 

For a large sunny wall there is nothing more beautiful than Wisteria with long racemes of lilac blossom and there are lots of these arriving this month too.

 

If  the scent of Sweet Peas matters to you we have ten different enchanting varieties of Dr. Hammet's sweet pea plants in a whole range of colours from ‘Almost Black’ and navy to pinks through to bright lipstick reds.

 

A new consignment of Hostas has arrived with their big expanse of leaves that make scintillating focal points in the garden and soothe the eye. They look superb mass planted in a semi-shaded area in your garden.

 

And lastly, it’s time to plant Dahlias which are a must for pure brilliance of flower colours combined with beautiful shapes, some with interesting purple-black foliage.

 

by Clare Scott,

Nichol’s Invercargill

ssom and there are lots of these arriving this month too.

 

If  the scent of Sweet Peas matters to you we have ten different enchanting varieties of Dr. Hammet's sweet pea plants in a whole range of colours from ‘Almost Black’ and navy to pinks through to bright lipstick reds.

 

A new consignment of Hostas has arrived with their big expanse of leaves that make scintillating focal points in the garden and soothe the eye. They look superb mass planted in a semi-shaded area in your garden.

 

And lastly, it’s time to plant Dahlias which are a must for pure brilliance of flower colours combined with beautiful shapes, some with interesting purple-black foliage.

 

by Clare Scott,

Nichol’s Invercargill

November is action stations for the seed sowing vegetable gardeners. So much has to be sown to keep us going through autumn and winter – carrots, parsnips, beetroot, silverbeet, parsley, celery, leeks, cabbage, broccoli and the summer tribe of pumpkins. This is a good time to plant your favourite summer vegetables such as courgette, cucumber, peppers, pumpkin and squash that all need long hours of full sunshine.

Courgettes are wonderful for first time gardeners because they are easy to grow and produce an abundance of fruit. They only require fertile well drained soil with some Nichols compost. Courgette ‘Blackjack’ is the most popular but the yellow variety is more disease resistant. They are water hungry plants and may cease to produce flowers and fruits if the ground becomes too dry. A sure sign of not enough water is the fruit going yellow and brown at the ends. Excess courgettes will grow into marrows, and picked in autumn when their skin is rock hard, will keep well to use as a winter vegetable.

Pumpkins are heavy feeders and need a long growing time to mature here in the south. Select a sunny position and dig a hole, fill it with plenty of Nichols compost and Norlake Sheep Pellets, then plant them with plenty of room to spread or climb. Most pumpkins grow on big trailing stems that stray up to five metres. If space is at a premium construct a wigwam with stout strong stakes and some netting to encourage growth upwards which will produce a lovely display of golden chalice flowers then the fruit at eye level instead of being hidden under large leaves. Which colour of pumpkin – apricot, orange, yellow, green, ivory, pewter grey, do you want to look at this summer?

Harvest pumpkins when vines begin to die off. It is important to pick with a small piece of stalk attached because an open wound will rot. Test the skin with your thumb nail and if the skin is rock hard the pumpkin will keep for months.

Cucumbers are full of vitamins. They thrive best in rich soil with plenty of heat and moisture so ventilation is crucial. Cucumbers grown vertically with fruit hanging are an attractive sight and less likely to attract fungal diseases than the plants that wander along the ground in these damp warm conditions. Downy mildew is a common disease of these vegetables so pick off the blotched and yellow leaves and spray with Yates Bravo.

Capsicums are the same family as Chilli Peppers but not as hot. They contain antioxidants and natural anticoagulant properties. Chillies become hotter with age.

Tomatoes are growing at an astonishing rate and need staking. You will have to be alert to avoid trouble with all the laterals sprouting at the leaf joints of the tomato plant stem.  Every week remove these laterals or they will elbow their way through the greenhouse using all the plants energy to produce masses of greenery instead of producing nice red tomatoes.

After the first truss has formed start feeding your tomato plants with Nichols Super Crop. Regular deep watering is required through summer and if older leaves begin to roll upwards this is a sign of fluctuating temperatures and more ventilation is required.

To pollinate the flowers simply shake the first truss and pollination is done.

In the vegetable garden sow some more peas, carrot, and beetroot. Don’t delay sowing your parsnips because they need a long growing time. Plant another row of potatoes every three or four weeks and enjoy new potatoes all summer long. Earth up potatoes as they grow by gently hoeing the soil up around the plants. They produce potatoes on the stem above the mother potato so it is important to keep hoeing earth up around the stems to stop young potatoes emerging into daylight which will turn them green and toxic.

November flower gardens have all the sparkle and freshness of a new summer. Flaunting peonies, poppies and irises are reaching their peak. Oriental poppies welcome summer by simply throwing off their caps and unravelling their crumpled petticoats into beautiful chiffon blooms in a range of pinks and reds. Aquilegia in various old fashioned shades of lilac, mauve, purple and lemon will grow happily in any sort of soil gently revealing their lovely muted shades that never jump out at you.

Then the wild spring winds slam into the garden. Established perennials need to be staked up to a third of their expected height. Because brittle succulent stems tied too tightly will snap where the string is attached, loosely attached stems should leave a little room for movement. The peony tribe tend to slouch about but should they lean too far an excellent support for them is a metal semi-circle with long legs [plant hoops] that push into the ground – just the ticket for gardeners who hate staking. You hardly notice them.

Delphiniums are real trouble. If tied too loose they snap and if too tight they snap. I thought that I needed a degree in delphinium staking until I discovered ‘grid’ staking. The secret is anticipation! Before they begin sending up their stately spires put in some canes around the clump attaching string around the stakes then weaving the string in an out and back and forth between the stems. This will keep the plants in their natural shape and the foliage will quickly conceal the stakes as if fluffs out.

Clematis is so easy to include in an existing garden even when every inch of ground space is filled. Features such as fences, walls, veranda posts and arches can be used to support many more plants. Newly purchased fast growing clematis will need some help by carefully fanning out the young tendrils over trellis or wires in order to display their lovely flowers without an unsightly bunched up birds nest effect.

Difficult shaded areas can be enhanced greatly with Solomon’s Seal arching their long stems of green tipped dainty white flowers. Thalictrum will fill a gap in any part of the garden with a cloud of little lilac flowers and the lacy leaves will lighten any garden.

New Lobelia ‘Hot Springs’ has arrived with the promise of even more flowers on every plant to bloom all through summer, creating beautiful compact mounds of blue white or pink in your garden, pots, and patio planter boxes. 

Our 4pack perennials include Campanula that bloom with bell flowers of blue, pink and white, Geraniums will highlight spots in the garden as well as pots on the terrace.

Pretty salmon pink Diascia produces a very long summer flowering and what could be nicer than white Bacopa spilling among Plush Petunias.

The amazing colours of perennial petunias take some beating for sheer flower power whether planted in the garden or pots and there are new varieties arriving every season.

In the rose garden keep a watch out for aphids as just one aphid can become five thousand almost over night. When droves of aphids appear digital squashing is out of the question so you will need to spray with Yates Shield which is a systemic spray that goes into the sap of the plant and should give better protection during the showery weather of spring.

Happy Gardening Everyone