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Tom's Monthly Gotta-Do's


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Each month I provide gardeners with a list of herbs to grow in the ground or in containers. Have you noticed? Maybe you won’t want to grow them all, but how about some chives for your baked potato, basil for sauces or mint to teas? Well, now it the best time to grow these plants and others. The list at this time of the year grows much longer.

Herbs are easy to grow too. Many like to grow their herbs in containers. They seem much more manageable in containers of good potting soil. I like a six inch or so pot. If you want, you can grow a window box or hanging basket of herbs. Here are some secrets. Keep the soil moist, feed frequently and harvest the crop to keep it growing.

Here is some good news too. Few pests affect herbs. Occasionally caterpillars will appear in the parsley and maybe some beetles on the mints. Often these can be hand picked or controlled with a natural spray. Do follow label instructions.

You just gotta plant some herbs. Now here are more of my Gotta Do’s and don’t forget to check out the planting lists for this month.


Tom's Gotta-do's for November, 2012
Vegetable & fruit gardening:
Feeding time for citrus and other fruit trees is over.
Harvest warm season crops and plant those that like the cooler weather
Tomato and pepper planting time is over until spring.
Start seeds of broccoli, cauliflower, collards, onions and similar to produce transplants.
Groom older herb plantings and add news ones to the garden or containers.
Improve sandy soils with garden soil, compost, peat moss and composted manures.
Feed the garden every 3 to 4 weeks with manure or a general garden fertilizer.
Stake or trellis taller growing crops to prevent wind damage and pests.
Maintain a mulch between plants and rows to conserve water and control weeds.
Water vegetable and herb plantings when the surface soil begins to dry to the touch.
Caterpillars have been feeding in the garden; hand pick or use natural controls.
Delay all fruit tree pruning until late January or February.
Plant and mulch strawberry beds.
Lawn care:
Most lawns have a bright green look; keep them healthy with good fall care.
Complete fall feedings with a low phosphorus fertilizer during early November.
Lawns low in potassium can be given extra winter protection with a late month application.
Brown patch disease can be severe in zoysia; treat when first noted.
Apply herbicides for your lawn type if needed for broadleaf and sedge weed control.
Fall is a good time to sod or plug lawns; delay bahia seeding until spring.
Less water is needed by lawns; reduce waterings to only when the grass begins to wilt.
Watering is limited to once a week in most areas when Eastern Standard Time returns.
Water lawns separately from trees and shrubs that need less moisture.
Repair and adjust sprinklers to water efficiently
Continue mowing at normal heights.
Landscape Care:
Extended summer-like weather has produced extra growth; trim plantings as needed.
Moist soils have encouraged lots of weeds; hand pull or spot treat with the proper herbicides.
Begin cool season flower plantings; add them to gardens and containers.
Work organic matter into flower beds and replace soil in planters before planting.
Rotate flower selections from year to year in beds and planters to help prevent pests
Slow release fertilizers are an easy way to feed flower beds and containers.
Extend chrysanthemum life; remove faded flowers, keep the soil moist and feed lightly.
Make sure poinsettias receive no nighttime light; keep the soil moist and feed monthly.
Established trees and shrubs need infrequent watering; moisten only during the dry times.
Established flower beds need watering when the surface soil begins to dry to the touch.
Maintain a light mulch over flower beds to keep the soil moist and control weeds.
Scale insects have been heavy this year on shrubs and foliage plants; use a natural spray.
Delay major pruning of cold sensitive trees and shrubs until the new year.
Leaf spots and die-back are normal on many trees and perennials as they prepare for winter.
Be prepared to cover or move cold sensitive plants to a warm location.
Foliage & house plant care:
Plant narcissus and amaryllis bulbs in containers to begin growth for holiday blooms.
Remember, no night time light for holiday plants until they begin to bloom.
Water holiday cactus and kalanchoe when the soil dries to the touch; keep poinsettias moist..
Wash away dust and plant pests with a soapy water solution
Check and treat outdoor plants for insects before bringing them indoors.
Recheck light levels for indoor plants and move to brighter locations if needed.
Discontinue or reduce foliage plant feedings to every other month.

November 2012 Plantings

Flowers: Ageratum, alyssum, baby's breath, black-eyed Susan, bush daisy, calendula, California poppy, candytuff, carnation, cat's whiskers, chrysanthemum, cleome, cornflower, delphinium, dianthus, dusty miller, foxglove, gaillardia, geranium, goldenrod, heliotrope, hollyhocks, Iceland poppy, impatiens, larkspur, lobelia, ornamental cabbage & kale, pansy, petunia, phlox, salvia, shasta daisy, snapdragon, stock, sweet pea, verbena, viola and wax begonias.

Vegetables: Beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, collard, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onion, pea, radicchio, radish, rhubarb, rutabaga, spinach, Swiss chard and turnip.

Herbs: anise, arugula, basil, borage, chive, cardamon, chervil, cilantro, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, lavender, lemon balm, lovage, Mexican tarragon, mint, nasturtium, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram, thyme and watercress.

Bulbs: African iris, amaryllis, anemone, bulbine, crinum, day lily, rain lily, ranunculus, society garlic, spider lily and narcissus; refrigerated Dutch iris, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and similar bulbs needing a cold treatment before flowering.

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