Garden Tips for November
- If adding plants to the garden before winter sets in, think native! Native plants attract fewer pests; need little or no fertilizer; and require less pruning, less time, and less water.
- Sow native plants from seed now. If no rain comes, water by hand.
- Onions and garlic go in now for late May harvest.
- Succession planting is key for vegetables such as radishes, spinach, and lettuce. Plant seeds every couple of weeks in order to stagger the harvest times.
- Direct-sow peas now in order to get a jump-start on the spring harvest.
- Consider planting a cover crop such as fava beans, clover, or vetch, in order to add nutrients to the soil, suppress weeds, and avoid rain run-off.
- Lettuce, beets, chard, cilantro, carrots, and brassicas should be ready to harvest. When harvesting broccoli, cut the stalk at a slant a few inches below the head. Most varieties will develop side-shoots that can be harvested for weeks to come.
- If soils are dry, a few days before an expected freeze irrigate to make sure plants and trees are not water stressed and that surface soil is moist.
- Rake mulch away from around frost- and/or freeze-sensitive plants to expose a moist soil surface. Moist soil warmed by sunlight during the day will radiate that heat at night, keeping the sensitive plant warmer.
- Install an app on your phone to warn you of a frost or hard freeze on the way.
- Identify plants, faucets, and exposed water pipes that may need some insulation from freezing temperatures.
- Have frost protection supplies such as old sheets, burlap, or heavy-weight polypropolene frost blankets ready for a sudden drop in temperature.
- Hang incandescent outdoor holiday lights (at least 100 watts) under frost-sensitive trees and shrubs to warm air space around plants.
- Replace ethanol fuel in gasoline-powered tools with a high-grade gasoline and additives to prevent gummed-up carburetors in spring.
- Check and/or change engine oil, spark plugs, cutting blades, and chains for replacement while store inventories are full.
- Sharpen tools before putting them to work pruning this winter.
- Adjust irrigation to account for wet and humid weather. Now is also a good time to flush out the irrigation system to avoid mineral build-ups and clogs.
- Avoid walking through the garden when it is wet, as this can spread unwanted diseases and compact the soil. Paths made of straw or wood can help alleviate this problem.
Pest and disease control
- As the winter dormant season sets in, begin pruning trees and shrubs to remove dead, diseased, and broken branches, promote vigor, open the canopy to sun, and improve air circulation.
- Apply dormant fungicide sprays to protect buds from leaf curl on peaches and nectarines, and shothole fungus on peach, nectarine, and apricot trees, from mid-November to mid-December.
- Trap slugs and snails by strategically placing boards or pots throughout the garden. Regularly check the underside and destroy any unwanted pests.
Available Fruit and Vegetables