Everything to sow and plant this November: Sow sweet corn, runner beans and plant tomato seedlings
Plant these crops now and reap the benefits this summer.
Words: Jane Wrigglesworth
Sow dwarf and runner beans, peas, snow peas, and radishes directly into the garden.
Grow your own kumara cuttings. Plant a shop-bought kumara just below the surface of a container filled with potting mix and keep it moist. When shoots are 20cm high, snip off the top two-thirds and plant the shoot into compost-enriched soil.
Make a compost tea. Place 2 cups of compost in pantyhose and place in a 20 litre bucket, with the top of the leg draped over the side. Hold on to the pantyhose and fill the bucket with non-chlorinated water. Add 1 tbsp molasses, 1 tbsp liquid seaweed fertiliser and 1 tsp fish fertiliser. Leave for 24 hours. Don’t leave it for much longer than this or it will start to grow ‘bad’ bacteria.
Sow cucumber and zucchini seeds, or plant out seedlings, in compost-enriched soil (or sow in trays for transplanting later). If the nights are cold when the seedlings emerge, protect with a cloche. Large jars can also work.
Sow sweet corn seeds directly into the garden once the risk of frosts is over. Sweet corn doesn’t like frosts or being transplanted. If your soil is cold and wet, leave sowing until next month. Corn is wind-pollinated so plant in blocks rather than single rows. Bonus: Plant a nearby patch of cleome to lure the green vegetable bug away from your corn.
Plant out tomato and capsicum seedlings at about 10cm high. Feed with a general fertiliser in the early stages. When plants begin to flower, switch to a specialist tomato fertiliser.
Grow vining (also known as indeterminate) tomatoes up a stake to help keep plants tidy and encourage earlier and better fruiting. This method restricts growth to one stem:
• tie the stem to a stake as it grows;
• pinch out any side shoots that appear between stem and leaf (from the leaf axils);
• when 3-4 trusses have formed (or 5-6 if you’re growing in a glasshouse) cut the main stem so the plant can put all its energy into fruit development and ripening.
Earth up early potatoes and plant out main crop potatoes. Dig a trench 10-15cm deep, place tubers in the bottom and cover with soil, unless your soil is heavy. If it’s heavy, plant tubers just into the soil so they’re partially sticking out. Draw soil over them with a hoe to form a ridge.