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Pumpkins
Golden Nuggets
Pumpkins are legendary. Think of Cinderella and the pumpkin that turned into her coach (or was it the other way around…I can’t remember). 
Or Halloween.
Or those crazy pumpkin growing competitions!
We recently heard about the winner of a competition in Mildura who had to transport his giant pumpkin on a 6m x 4m trailer. It weighed in at a whopping 228kg.
 
You may not be that competitive (if you are we know a few pumpkin growing secrets) but if you want to grow pumpkins you will need some garden space. They ramble all over the place: along the ground, up the walls and fences, into the neighbour’s yard…. Pinch out the lead runner and the vine will form side shoots and stay a little more contained as well as diverting more energy into the formation of the fruit. Flowers will form, bees will pollinate them and the fruit will form, turning orange and sweet in the autumn. 
 
Harvest when the stem begins to dry out and turn brown. You can store the unblemished pumpkins in a dark, airy place for many months.
 
Aaah pumpkins, we love ‘em.
 
If you don’t have much space you can try some bush varieties like Golden Nugget
 
November and December Pests

Slugs and snails are still munching away voraciously at our green leafy plants, thanks to intermittent showery spring weather. A very simple snail trap is a bowl of beer or wine mixed with water. Place it with the rim 1 cm above the ground. They will slide in for a drink and drown.  Sugar water (5% sugar solution) is also highly effective, as is diluted cordial. Empty your traps daily into the compost or chook run.
White and grey sticky aphids are starting to appear with the warmer weather. Strips of yellow sticky tape strung around the garden like flags work wonders in controlling the population, but nothing beats a gentle vacuum!
White cabbage butterfly larvae (caterpillars) – see our November 2015 Biogardening article for some tips on how to deal with them. Try some sticky traps available from nurseries or from Green Harvest.
Fluffy ‘wooly bear’ caterpillars are more easily spotted than their smooth green cousins so pick them off leaves as soon as you see them.
Birds can strip your cabbages and other brassicas completely bare at this time of year as their food supply becomes scarce, so best to cover with protective bird netting or try making a scarecrow.
Possums and rats will gobble up your ripening fruit and often strip bare many plants in your veggie garden. If you don’t have a dog to scare them off at night, you’ll need to protect your fruit trees and food garden with netting. The best structure is made of hoops with net strung across, so the net doesn’t interfere with the new shoots on trees and bushes.
Broad beans can develop a fungal disease called chocolate spot. Remove the affected leaves or the entire plant.
 
November and December Planting
 
November is the best month ever for planting seedlings out into your garden for a full harvest from late spring through summer.
 
FRUITING VEGETABLES:
Tomatoes, chillies, capsicums, eggplants, zucchini, pumpkins, beans, peas, cucumber, melons, sweetcorn
 
ROOT VEGETABLES: 
Direct sow beetroot, carrots, parsnips, swedes, radishes, spring onions, leeks, fennel, sweet potatoes and potato chits.
 
LEAF VEGETABLES:
Broccoli, spinach, silverbeet, lettuces, endive, rocket, celery, cabbages and oriental leaves
 
FLOWERS:
Marigolds and calendula in the veggie garden
 
HERBS:
Sweet basil, Thai basil, borage, parsley, oregano, chervil, dill, sage, thyme, lovage, French or Mexican tarragon and coriander.
 
Coriander grows best when seeds are scattered because it doesn’t like root disturbance.
November is really the last month to plant potato chits.
 
Plant out passionfruit vines, strawberries, citrus and avocado trees
 
Happy planting.
 
 
 
VV LUNATIC GARDENING
November 2017
 
FULL MOON
Saturday 4 November at 3.52pm
From the full moon to the last quarter is the waning moon when the sap flow in plants is more concentrated in the root area and lower in the foliage so it’s the best time to plant out your root vegetables.
 
LAST QUARTER (waning moon)
Saturday 11 November at 7.06
The week of the last quarter is the barren moon phase and is best used to attend to your soil, apply mulch and manure teas, make compost, remove weeds, and dig over the ground.
 
NEW MOON
Saturday 18 November at 10.12pm
From the new moon to the first quarter is the best time to sow or plant your leafy greens like lettuces, spinach, cabbages, and herbs etc.
Mow your lawn during this phase.
 
FIRST QUARTER (waxing moon)
Monday 27 November at 3.32am
From the new moon through to the full moon sap flow is increased in the above-ground parts of plants.
During the first quarter
to the full moon, plant crops that fruit above the ground such as sweetcorn, tomatoes, eggplants, chillies, pumpkins, zucchini, etc. It's still OK to plant leafy greens and lettuces during this time as well.
 
 
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December 2017
 
FULL MOON
Monday 4 December at 2.16am
 
LAST QUARTER (waning moon)
Sunday 10 December at 6.21pm
 
NEW MOON
Monday 18 December at 5.00pm
 
LAST QUARTER (waning moon)

Tuesday 26 December at 7.50pm
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