November 2, 2007 Weekly Garden Guide

While we have had next to no time in our own garden this week, it is alarming how fast we can start drying out after a week of warm, sunny weather. Get mulch onto garden beds, preferably after a good dousing of rain. Keep an eye on container plants too. Daily watering is now required.

  • If you calculate that your early flowering narcissus have had 65 days of growth (in other words they were coming through the ground by the end of August), they can be trimmed or mown now. Cutting off the leaves and laying mulch deters the dreaded narcissi fly which is starting to hatch. These nasties lay their eggs in the crown and the larvae hatch and eat out the bulbs. Mark has seen his first of the season.
  • If you have been tempted into buying plants this week, make sure you soak them well in a bucket of water until air bubbles stop rising before you plant them. It is late in the season for planting trees and shrubs so if your conditions are harsher (ground which is not well cultivated or friable, very exposed or coastal), you may be better heeling the plants in to well cultivated conditions such as a vegetable garden for planting out next autumn.
  • Aphids have found many of the hellebores. Deadheading will reduce the aphid infestation in your garden.
  • Continue the Labour Weekend plantings in the vegetable garden. If you have early strawberries, it is time to look at laying netting over them. As soon as there is a hint of red, the birds will spot them and they are not likely to wait until they are ripe enough for you to eat.
  • It is now full steam ahead on main crop potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, corn and even kumara in warmer areas. Plant everything now. It has been a cold spring so we are running a little later than usual but it would be really bad luck to get a frost now.