Gardening in November

• Summer organic vegetable seedling varieties are now available from tomatoes, green peppers, brinjals, chillies, baby marrow, beans to the fantastic selection of companion herbs to grow in suitable pots or containers. Growing organic vegetables means you can enjoy healthy, tasty food fresh from your garden. For most vegetables, that means full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun a day). If you have poor soil, amend it with organic matter such as vermiculite, perlite, palm peat, compost and golddust. Feed your vegetable garden with Talborne 6:3:4, the only Organic certified fertiliser. 

• Few plants are as versatile and easy to grow as the Portulacaria afra or spekboom, otherwise known as Elephants food. Apart from its use as a garden plant, it is a soil improver, carbon dioxide gobbler and combats soil erosion. Portulacaria afra comes in a few varieties and can form part of any landscape design and used in many forms. As a tree, hedge, shrub, or groundcover or rewarding indoor or outdoor pot plant. 

• Plant strawberries directly into garden beds, raise the beds to allow good drainage. Perlite is excellent to improve aeration and drainage. Strawberries also grow very well in planter boxes, barrels, hanging baskets and pots, making them ideal for small gardens, decks or verandahs. Provide a mulch or weed matting around strawberry plants to prevent the fruit from touching the soil. Feed with Starke Ayres 3:1:5 Organic to promote flowering, resulting in more fruit. 

• Avocado “The new green gold “. This large evergreen tree originated in Southern Mexico but is now cultivated worldwide. It sheds leaves in early spring but is essentially evergreen in the Western Cape. Grafted plants will produce fruit within a few years but trees grown from seed can take from 8 to 20 years. As an ongoing commitment to ensure food security Starke Ayres shall be running a promotion – While stocks last on ONLY our “Fuerte” Cultivar in both Garden Centres. 

• What would a summer be without the voluptuous Hydrangea? Good spots for hydrangeas are where they get good light, but not full sun, and shade from the hot midday and afternoon sun. Try areas against south-facing walls or hedges or under tall trees. Hydrangeas are hungry plants. Gardeners who have left it late to feed their Hydrangeas should now use Starke Ayres Acid Loving and Hydrangea food to help intensify the blooms. 

• Mulch flower beds with wood chips, Peach pips or bark to help water retention in the soil. They also help with keeping plants’ roots cool, optimizing the growth potential of your plants. Adding a good handful of Gold dust or Volco Rock will also improve the drainage and mineral composition of your soil and reduce chances of water evaporation and run off. 

• The heat can take a lot of nutrition out of the plants in your garden. Add some nutrients in the form of Nitrosol , Seagro, Starke Ayres 3:1:6 or Just Organics Kraal manure pellets or crumble to your garden.