Armidale gardening: Tips for November and December

Cut delights: A whole range of beautiful flowers - including lavender - are flowering now and are beautiful for picking.

Cut delights: A whole range of beautiful flowers - including lavender - are flowering now and are beautiful for picking.

Fragrance

Roses, lilacs, sweet peas, lily of the valley, sweet peas, lavender, tuberose, philadelphus (mock orange), honeysuckle and viburnum are in flower now - cut some for a vase to enjoy those scents indoors.

Those weeds!

Keep up your war on weeds – there is no magic solution, but persistence will give the best results. Knowing your weeds can also help as every weed clings to the soil in a different way.

Annual weeds such as chickweed and spurge are generally very invasive but easy to pull out by hand.

Perennial weeds that grow with a single tap root such as dandelions are harder to pull out and the long tap root can break off easily. These will often regrow from a small piece of root and are best dealt with when they are easy to pull out, when very young or when the ground is damp.

Weeds with roots that creep under the soil, such as couch grass, will also regrow from even a tiny piece of root, so it’s important to get every last little bit.

Jobs to do

In the veggie garden, try to water often enough to keep soil moisture fairly constant. If plants go dry, then wet, then dry, it will cause them to grow in stops and starts and they may wilt, drop blossoms or leaves, run to seed early or the fruits may not form properly.

In extreme cases, the plant might die. Under-watered vegetables can taste bitter or be woody, while over-watered ones can be just plain tasteless.

Stake tomatoes and thin outside shoots. Watch for aphids on peaches and nectarines and treat accordingly.

Prune and feed shrubs that have finished flowering, such as rhododendrons, camellias, daphne and wisteria.

Plant out seedlings of summer annuals such as asters, marigolds, nasturtiums, petunias, phlox, portulaca, coleus, mesembryanthemum, verbena, gaillardia, rudbeckia, cockscomb, gazanias, cosmos, amaranthus, zinnias, etc.

The Armidale Garden Club’s final meeting for 2016 was held last Thursday, November 24. The club next convenes on the fourth Thursday of February, 2017.

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