November Gardening

    • Bulbs, bulbs, bulbs! It’s time to plant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and many other flower bulbs for beautiful blooms next spring.
    • Clean up the garden by raking leaves and old flower blossoms out from under your shrubs. Roses and camellias especially appreciate this.
    • Spray citrus and other tender plants with Cloud Cover to give them some protection from frosts.
    • Enjoy birds in your garden by hanging bird feeders around the yard. You’ll see many different kinds as they migrate through this fall.
    • Cut asparagus down to about two inches above the ground once all of the foliage has died. Mulch asparagus beds with three inches of well-rotted manure.

November Gardening

These beautiful fall days are a wonderful time to get out in the garden, plant some bulbs and flowers, and put your garden to bed before the cooler days arrive.

November is a good month to plant many evergreen shrubs and trees. Hollies, rhododendrons and camellias, as well as junipers, pines, firs and redwoods, all do well when given the winter to get established. Some natives and Mediterranean shrubs like Ceanothus, fremontias, rock roses and manzanita will need little or no water next summer if planted now.

When planting trees, remove any stake that is next to the trunk. Restake only if the tree cannot support itself. Use two stakes, placing one on either side of the rootball and connect them to the tree with rubber ties so that the tree can move some in the wind. This will strengthen the trunk so the stakes can be removed in a year or two.

Set out winter bedding plants this month. Snapdragons, pansies, violas, calendulas, primroses and Iceland poppies will all go through the winter nicely. Spring-blooming perennials to plant now include foxglove, columbine, and lupine.

You can plant spring-flowering bulbs up through Thanksgiving. Bright colored tulips, proud daffodils and fragrant hyacinths will reward you next spring for your efforts now. Crocus, Glory-of-the-snow, anemones and ranunculus will also give you lovely spring flowers.

Check your rose garden. Bushes that are old and no longer give you bowers of flowers should come out to make room for new varieties. Also make sure that tree roses are firmly staked to handle winter storms. Don’t prune roses yet, but you can cut off faded flowers and remove dead branches.

Clean up fallen leaves from planted areas and lawns. Turn them into rich leaf-mold by piling them up in an unused corner, where they will decompose slowly but surely. This is a cold process and takes a year or two before it’s ready to use. You can speed up the operation by shredding the leaves before you pile them up. Be careful not to include leaves from black walnut trees, which are toxic, or from evergreen magnolias or live oaks, which break-down very slowly.

Prune berry bushes by removing canes that fruited in early summer. Train new canes onto trellises. Do not prune trees when the leaves are falling. It is better to wait until January or February so that the cuts will not be exposed to the cold, wet weather which invites rot and disease problems.

Spruce up the garden with plants that produce colorful red berries during the winter. Cotoneaster, holly, Heavenly Bamboo and pyracantha do well in our area.

Spray your peach and nectarine trees this month for peach leaf curl, after the leaves have fallen. Use a form of copper-sulfate for the best protection.

Finally, collect pine cones, autumn leaves and branches of bright red berries to use as table decorations. Enjoy November in your garden.

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