Gardening: What to plant in Wanganui in November
by voiturerobert.com ·
November is a great time to plant some vegetables in Wanganui.
We are now approaching the end of the spring semester, and the official start of the summer semester will be in two weeks. Looking ahead to the spring of 2022, the weather is starting to be wet in September and
Then it turned windy.
From a vegetable horticulture perspective, this has affected planting times for many crops, delaying the planting season. For the second year in a row, November has become a prime planting month for New Zealand gardeners.
With the warm weather finally looking like it’s settling in, now is the time to plant cold-sensitive vegetables.
The Brassicaceae family includes; Cucumbers, zucchini, scallopini, squash, como como, watermelon, etc. are the summer vegetables most sensitive to cold.
These delicate plants do not like low temperatures and tend to collapse when the temperature drops much below 10°C. However, with warmer temperatures (15°C+) they are shedding growth at a rapid rate, with cucumbers and zucchini producing their first crop within six weeks.
Watermelon and rockmelon are enjoyed by many. They are a great summer favorite and can be easily grown in the home garden. Watermelon has a thick, dark green rind and bright red flesh, and is ready to harvest when the fruit sounds hollow when tapped.
Rock melon fruit has a rough, thick rind and bright orange flesh and is ready to harvest when the fruit is easily pulled from the stem. Both fruits can be eaten chilled for desserts, used in salads and as a garnish.
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One of my children has a keen interest in gardening and growing watermelons in pots, and the past few years have been a rewarding experience.
Eggplant, peppers, hot peppers, and tomatoes need heat to thrive. Although they will survive at temperatures above 5°C, they tend to darken and, like the Cucurbitaceae family, prefer to be at 15°C+. Now is a good time to plant.
If you want to start growing your own crops, many of these plants are now available in stores in larger sizes. This week I noticed hot pepper plants covered in flowers with fruit already on them.
Two warm summer crops are best planted as seeds directly in the garden bed where they will grow: beans and corn. Beans come in dwarf and climbing forms.
Dwarf beans form a dense, self-supporting plant that reaches about 25 cm tall and wide. They are quick to harvest, and are ready to eat about seven to eight weeks after planting. The grown ones will now be ready for Christmas dinner.
There is a highly recommended highest yielding bean variety in the “Ican Chefs Best Seed Range” called “Supreme”.
It is highly productive, with strong disease resistance, and has straight, 14cm long beans held high on the plant for easy picking. The pods are distinctively shiny, very fleshy and have excellent flavour.
‘Supreme’ beans come ready in two to three weeks, so a number of sowings every three weeks will give successive harvests during the summer months. As a small growing plant, it is an ideal vegetable to grow in containers if space is limited, as well as in the garden.
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Climbing beans form a larger plant and need some support. It is recommended to build a structure about 1.8-2 meters high with a trellis, wire or twine ideal for climbing tendrils.
Climbing beans take approximately 10 to 12 weeks to begin harvesting from seed but will continue to flower and produce beans as long as temperatures remain warm.
Some climbing bean varieties will form a tuberous root system, which if left in the soil will grow again in future years. To let your root system grow again the following year, you should cut the vines above ground level where the plants die in the fall rather than pulling out the roots and all.
There are two good climbing varieties; ‘Yates Shiny Fardenlosa’ is known for its long, straight, threadless, flat pods that are a bright dark green colour. They are very prolific.
Another popular and top-performing climbing bean variety is ‘Yates Scarlet Runner’ which produces very long pods for a good period during the summer months.
It is known for its continuous picking and intensive cultivation. Picking young beans will give you more tender produce that has not had time to become stringy. An added bonus is the attractive flowers before putting on the case.
‘Scarlet Runner’ is also a perennial and will appear again every year.
My grandmother, a great gardener, always said that you need to make sure your corn seeds are planted before Christmas if you want to get a crop.
Maize is an easy-to-grow and productive crop that grows well in Wanganui. The seeds should now be sown directly into the soil, and to spread the harvest time, a second crop can be planted in mid-December; They will be ready for harvest between mid-February and March.
Corn is a heavy feeder plant. Before planting, I recommend mixing Ikan Organic Plant Food into the soil and then feeding it back regularly as the plants grow. It is best to plant corn in blocks rather than rows as this greatly improves the pollination rate.
The highly recommended corn variety to grow is ‘Tender Sweet’ which is part of the ‘Ican Chefs Best Seed Range’.
It’s time to treat your tomato/potato scilli
It is now important to start spraying your potato and tomato plants with bee-friendly ‘Yates Mavrik’ or ‘Yates Success Ultra’ for potato psylla protection.
Prevention is really key with this critter, as the generally invisible psyllid insect lands on plants and injects bacterial pathogens into the plant.
This may not be detected for a while but will appear later, as the plants show stunting and yellowing at the growing tip. The edges of the curled leaves often have a pink blush.
The stem may have swollen nodes and show a brown discoloration in the vascular tissue. After a while, infected plants develop a scorched appearance and plants can die prematurely.
Infected potatoes develop at an early stage many small tubers, and on tomatoes, the flowers often fall from the supports, and the fruit that develops can be small and deformed. Using these sprays, it can be controlled effectively.
Gareth Carter is General Manager of Springvale Garden Centre