November in the garden

As we head towards the holiday season you will want your garden to be at its best if you plan on spending the festive season outdoors with family and friends. Here are some top tips for a beautiful garden.




Lush lawn

If you have regularly watered your lawn it should be dark emerald green by now. If not, you can easily rectify this by giving grass a dose of fertiliser, watering regularly and keeping it maintained by mowing and trimming. With the holidays just around the corner you are going to be spending lots of time outdoors in the garden, so take the time now to ensure a lush, green lawn for the holidays!



Grow an edible garden

In addition to salad vegetables, think about freshly grown ingredients for meze platters, accompanied by ice-cold white wine and happy hours spent eating delightedly in the cool shade of a tree. You will find some helpful tips on planting up a meze vegetable garden here.



Gardening for kids

Introduce your children to the joy of gardening by letting them plant up an amaryllis bulb. The glorious red colour will complement your Christmas decor and, if planted now, will be ready just in time for the festive season. Find details on how to right here.




Mulch your garden! Mulching also has the added benefit of reducing water loss from the soil. Mulching maintains soil temperatures and reduces weed growth as well. A definite win all around!

  • Mow your lawn regularly to stop white patches from exposing your grass roots to the full sun after a long time in the shade. If you can, change the direction of mowing each time. This prevents uneven growth.
  • Harvest any ripe vegetables that may be damaged by the constant wet weather.
  • Water plants that are under the roof overhang of buildings. They don’t benefit from all the rainfall and can die from drought.
  • Split clivias now that are overgrown, remember you do not have to cut the leaves back too. Replant them and get them settled for next year’s show of colour.
  • Continue to prune back any aggressive herbs like mint.
  • Cut back Butterfly bushes, Nemesias and other perennials that have finished their spring show
  • Trim back lavenders to encourage new growth for next year’s flush.





There is a long list of flower seedlings that can be planted now to ensure that the garden is in full bloom during the festive season. Pop into your nearest accredited garden centre to see what they have available.

  • Argyranthenums, osteospermums, plectranthus, delospermums, lampranthus and many other flowering plants are ready to be planted, so don’t miss out.
  • Plant Blueberries, Black berries and Raspberries now.




It is time to prepare for your extra must have’s for the edible garden. Look out for the following:

  • Thyme is a hardy, water wise perennial herb that is widely used for culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses. They grow in full sun have a strong fragrance, small leaves and tiny flowers. There are lots of different species available but the most are used to add that wonderful flavour to any dish.
  • Chives are the smallest member of the onion family and the one with the most delicate flavour. They are mainly grown for their leaves and flowers. The leaves are the part of the plant that is used for different kinds of sauces and salads where the flowers add that extra colour to your herb garden. Chives grow well in containers alone as well as in combination with other herbs. They are hardy and grow in any sunny spot in the garden.
  • Pumpkins are one of the most versatile veggies ever! They are fast growing, rich in antioxidants and available in different shapes, sizes and colour. Pumpkins can be used in a variety of dishes, whether it is baked, cooked or fried.
  • Origanum is a perennial and common herb that is widely used to give flavour to dishes, especially lamb and tomato dishes. It is one of the most versatile herbs and is also used in traditional medicine and as an ornamental. They produce small purple or white flowers, are very aromatic. Perfect addition to any garden.




November is a good time to sow seeds as the night temperatures are warmer and you can fit in some quick crops like these:

  • Coriander, rocket, any basil, chives, oreganum, dill, fennel.
  • Lettuce (make sure they get shaded a bit in the hot days), spinach and chard, look out for baby spinach, beetroot, radishes, kale, beans, tomatoes (especially cherry tomatoes) and chillis (these are longer crops but rewarding and great for salads)
  • Marigolds, salvias, portulaca, cosmos, coleus, sunflower (tall & short), zinnia, nasturtium & dianthus & even violas


  • Keep a look out for the dreaded 'amaryllis worm' in clivias and agapanthus – once spotted be sure to take action as soon as possible. Pop into your nearest accredited garden centre and pick up everything you need.
  • Watch out for fungal diseases like powdery mildew on cucurbits (the pumpkin family).
  • Put out bait for pumpkin fly.
  • With the rain comes disease too – check roses for Mildew and Blackspot – Spray a good systemic Fungicide if need be.
  • Spray apples and pears for coddling moth.
  • Check for white fly – they love the heat of summer and remember when spraying, try and get the spray in from under the plant as the little flies sit underneath the leaves.




  • Vegetable gardening requires 3 basic elements; sun, water and nutrition! So feeding your plants is as important as watering them:
  • Ensure you prepare your garden bed with loads of organic material to sustain and nurture the growing demands of your edibles.
  • Fertilise your vegetable garden regularly as the rainfall leaches away available nutrients.
  • Feed your lawn now with a high nitrogen fertiliser like 8:1:5 or LAN, this will produce a new green flush for the festive season
  • Compost or Kraal Manure should be incorporated into the soil. Both products contain organic material and soil microbes which support root and plant growth.
  • Fertilise your roses now for that upcoming January/ February flush of blooms.
  • Once divided and replanted, give Butterfly bushes, Nemesias and other perennials a good dose of compost and 6:1:5 and they will flower again for Christmas.



  • Only use what you need! Don’t waste!
  • Check for leaks and fix them immediately.
  • Don’t water outdoors between 10am and 2pm.
  • Sweep any paving with a broom instead of washing it with water.
  • Report water leaks to your local municipality.



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