November Garden to-do List

Planting

  • Tree, shrubs, woody vines, ground covers, and some perennials should be planted now.
  • Spring bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths, etc.  Pre-cool tulips and Dutch hyacinths for 45 days to about 40 degrees before planting in November.
  • Spring flowering perennials such as daisies, iris, lilies, etc. can be planted now.
  • Cool-season spring-flowering annuals like alyssum, poppies, dianthus, flowering cabbage, and kale, etc. should be planted this month.
  • Finish planting your cool-season vegetables and herbs

Fertilize

  • Continue to foliar feed your plants with compost tea or one of the commercially available organic liquid fertilizers.  Don’t forget the potted plants still in your house.
  • Feed fall-blooming plants, especially houseplants, with compost tea, either as a foliar spray or with drenching
  • Turfgrasses should be fed once this month with a mild organic fertilizer.  Humates are a good choice.

Pruning

  • Prune shade trees to remove dead or diseased limbs.  If necessary, prune out of place limbs or low hanging growth that may be a hazard.  Prune carefully and judiciously.
  • Remove ground covers from around the root flare of trees.  If your trees don’t have a visible root flare this is a good time to expose those root flares.
  • Don’t deadhead your flowering annuals and perennials.  Leave the seeds for the birds.
  • Don’t prune fruit trees and grapes.  The best time to prune fruit trees and grapes is just before bud break in the spring.
  • If removing plants, don’t pull the root ball.  Shear the plant stock at the ground and leave the roots.  They will decompose and richen the soil.
  • Carefully prune evergreens to adjust their shape.

Watering

  • Turf – Water as needed.  Remember that deep, slow infrequent watering is better than short duration watering on a regular basis.  Turf should only be watered when needed, not on a regular schedule. Cut back on watering during the winter months when most turfgrasses are dormant.
  • Water potted plants and landscape plants as needed.

Pests and Diseases

  • Spot spray weeds with 10% horticultural vinegar solution to control weeds. Adding orange oil can help.
  • Check the roots on your annuals for nematodes.  Treat infected soil with biostimulants, molasses, compost, and citrus pulp.
  • Check houseplants for spider mites, scale, and aphids.  Spray as needed with organic pest controls.  Add whole ground cornmeal or dry granulated garlic to the soil.
  • Winter is a good time to remove mistletoe from trees.  It is easier to see and remove when the trees are bare.
  • If possible, leave some flowering weeds for the pollinators who remain active during the winter months.  Henbit, clover, and other wildflowers are essential to these insects during the winter.

Odd Jobs

  • Don’t rake up and remove the leaves from your trees.  Mulch them into your turf.  If you have too much, grind them finely and add sparingly to your compost pile, your landscape beds or your garden beds.
  • Turn your compost pile
  • Continue to spot spray weeds with a 10% vinegar and water solution
  • Mulch any bare soil in your landscape
  • Feed and water the birds
  • Start preparing your garden beds for spring.  Apply rock minerals and a fresh layer of wood chip mulch to your garden beds.

DON’T!

  • Till your soil
  • Scalp your yard
  • Spray any synthetic man-made pesticides, herbicides or fertilizer.