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Greater Brisbane region
Remove dead flowers from hippeastrums (unless you want to try propagating from seed). If you feel the clump is overcrowded or you'd like to spread them around the garden, they can be lifted and divided after flowering.
Prune the last of the spring-flowering shrubs as they finish blooming for the season. This not only removes the unattractive dead flowers, prevents them wasting energy on seed production, it is a good time to prune to keep them dense and within bounds.
Daylilies are a useful addition to the flower garden as they provide colour after many spring-flowering plants are finishing. November is a big month for daylilies, but the exact time of flowering will depend on whether you have an early, medium or late cultivar. To spread interest over a longest possible period, plant a few of each. If you can, visit a daylily nursery in the next couple of months. Seeing the plants actually in flower may help you make a selection, rather than simply relying on photographs or written descriptions.
Lightly prune azaleas to induce more branches and more flowers next year.
Keep adequate water up to shrubs such as hydrangeas and gardenias, ixora that are coming into flower, if they are to put on a good display. The same goes for crotons, hibiscus and softer plants that you want to keep looking good for summer parties. You might not be able to water the whole garden, but keep an eye on the high-visibility plants near your entertaining area, entrance etc.
If you are having guests over the Christmas and New Year period, or just want to enjoy a relaxing "staycation", be sure to get as many of those necessary garden tidy and repair jobs as you can done now to avoid stress (and even more heat) then.
Remember too, that summer storms could be on the way. Attend to dangerous trees and secure garden structures that could otherwse become missiles. Sagging gutters or tarps can also become pools for mosquito breeding.
The Vegetable Garden
As you harvest vegetables planted in late winter and early spring, you'll be thinking about what to plant for summer. This is the time for heat lovers like okra, rosella, snake beans and eggplant plus the more familiar sweetcorn, capsicums, chillies, pumpkins and melons. Be sure to select heat-tolerant varieties of other vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes if you decide to keep growing these (check your seed packet or catalogue). Some shade cloth to protect more sensitive veggies in the sunniest parts of the day may also be helpful. Alternatively, large containers in a suitable position may be a way of keeping some salad ingredients going over the summer.
Before you get carried away, however, consider the months ahead and whether you'll have time over the holiday season to attend to the garden, and whether you're willing and able to battle the heat and pests.
The lack of rain so far this spring is of particular concern. If we don't get significant rain soon, you may choose to scale back your vegetable growing activities until late summer. In the meantime, utilise whatever water and time you can spare to keep fruit trees, hedges and favourite ornamental trees and shrubs healthy. These take priority because they represent long-term investments. Furthermore, fruit trees will need an adequate and consistent moisture for developing fruit.
Unused parts of the vegetable garden can simply be be mulched for the summer. Pop in a few seedlings of melons, cucumbers or pumpkins to ramble over these areas for some greenery and, hopefully, some production without too much effort.
Sorry, I haven't prepared any monthly notes for fruit trees yet.
The Flower Garden
See also: Annual Flowers and Bedding Plants, Seed raising
Garden shows, open gardens
See what's in the Events Diary for November. There won't be many again until after summer. If you're organising a public event in Queensland in 2017 and it's related to plants or gardening in some way, be sure to send some information in as soon as possible for free promotion in the Events Diary.
If you're wondering what to buy friends and family for Christmas, why not something garden-related? Whether beginner or expert, old or young, acreage owner or apartment dweller, flower gardener or dedicated veggie grower, there's something for everyone. Get more ideas here: Garden Gift Ideas.
Some quick spruce-up tips are included in the notes for December, if you want to get a head-start on getting the garden ready for holiday guests.
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NB: The info on this page applies primarily to the greater Brisbane region only. Naturally, it's a general guide and will vary depending on local conditions, weather, plant variety etc.
Ongoing water availability is also a big concern these days, so take this into consideration too, especially if planning new gardens.
Further development of the notes here has been suspended in favour of Get Results Gardening (see below). If you're in Brisbane, please do see for yourself how good by requesting a free trial.
Get Results Gardening is a weekly email mini-magazine with an SE Qld focus.
Reliable plants, fundamentals simply explained, achievable ideas, inspiration and motivation for a beautiful garden that compliments your house and makes your whole property more enjoyable to live in.