It's what I have been waiting for, the cooler weather - at least I hope November is going to be cooler than September and October. Even the tomato plants have said it has been too hot and they have not been setting their fruits as normal. Let's hope we do not rush right in to the frigid winter weather.
Still, this is the best time of the year to plant a vegetable garden. You don't need a large spot to grow a little of what you eat. We have grown great broccoli in a large container set in a sunny spot. Still it is great to have a small plot to grow the vegetables we like.
All that grow very well now are listed in our November planting guide. Some of the best are lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, peas and collards. These are especially good fresh from the garden. Last year I tackled beets and was very happy - These are always a challenge and I am going to hope for the same success this year.
Cool weather is part of the secret to this garden but you still have to prepare the soil. Sandy soils need lots of organic matter if at all possible. Then you plant and keep the soil moist and feed the crops at least monthly. Just think of all the good eating that could be ahead.
There are also lots of other chores ahead too. Take a look at the November Gotta Do's for thing we should all be doing.
Vegetable & fruit gardening:
- Hurricane Irma damaged many gardens; new plantings maybe late producing harvests.
- Many soils were compacted by excessive rains and need loosening before planting.
- Improve sandy soils with garden soil, compost, peat moss and composted manure.
- Allow time between successive plantings of cool season crops to have continual harvests.
- Start seeds for cool season transplants every few weeks to have transplants through January.
- Stake or trellis tall growing crops for easy care and harvest.
- Caterpillars are feeding on foliage and fruits; hand pick or use a natural spray.
- Tomato and pepper planting time is over until spring.
- Most herbs like the cooler weather; restart plantings for fall through spring harvests. .
- Try growing herbs in containers that are easy to maintain and can be moved as needed.
- Allow garden soils to dry a little; water when the surface soil begins to dry to the touch.
- Feed in ground gardens every 3 to 4 weeks; use composted manure or a garden fertilizer.
- Use a slow release fertilizer to feed container plantings following label instructions.
- Maintain a mulch between plants and rows to conserve water and control weeds.
- Add new citrus or other fruiting trees to the landscape.
- Deciduous fruit trees may produce fall flowers; don't worry there are plenty of buds present.
- Most lawns were not damaged by excessive rains and should continue good growth.
- Lawns covered with debris normally resume growth after the plant portions are removed.
- If you missed a fall fertilizer application do it soon; feeding time for most turf types is over..
- A weed & feed can be substituted for a fertilizer only product.
- Lawns low in potassium can be given extra winter protection with a late month application.
- Apply herbicides for your lawn type if needed for broadleaf weeds and sedge control.
- Brown or large patch disease can be severe in zoysia; apply a fungicide in early November.
- Mole crickets have been damaging lawns; learn about this pest and needed controls.
- Fall is a good time to sod or plug problem areas in lawns; delay bahia seeding until spring.
- Less water is needed during cool weather; reduce waterings to when the grass begins to wilt.
- Eastern Standard Time returns November 5; in most areas watering is limited to once a week.
- Repair and adjust sprinklers to water efficiently
- Have lawn soil tested by the University of Florida lab to ensure a proper pH and feeding.
- Continue mowing at normal heights.
- Aerate hard to wet, compacted and nematode infected soils.
- Consider skipping ryegrass seeding this year as most lawns continue green growth.
- Fill in shady problem spots with ornamental ground covers.
- Expect storm damagedlimbs to appear in trees and shrubs for a while; remove as needed.
- Check supports for trees and shrubs uprighted from storms; most are needed for a year.
- Some shrubs and perennials may need to be trimmed to the ground but should recover.
- Fill voids left by storms with new trees, shrubs and ground covers.
- Consider smaller and storm resistant trees when replanting.
- Keep the root balls of new plantings moist with frequent hand waterings.
- Fall is a good time to renew mulches; only a light topping is normally needed.
- Pruning time is over for azaleas, gardenias, hydrangeas and camellias.
- Complete pruning of other plants early to allow new growth to mature before winter.
- Only remove declining fronds and flower or fruiting stalks from palms to maintain vigor.
- Palm diseases may be spread by pruners; disinfect at least between palms.
- It is time to plant petunias but you may want to delay pansy plantings until next month.
- Fall is a good time to repot, groom, feed and control pests of container plantings.
- Slow release fertilizers are an easy way to feed flower beds and containers.
- Make sure poinsettias receive no nighttime light; keep the soil moist and feed monthly.
- Scale insects have been heavy this year on shrubs and foliage plants; use a natural spray.
- Leaf spots and die-back are normal on many trees and perennials as they prepare for winter.
- Remove limbs and weeds interfering with sprinklers.
- Complete all tree, palm and shrub feedings by mid-month.
Foliage and house plant care:
- Holiday poinsettias arrive this month and can last into the new year with good care.
- Water holiday cactus and kalanchoe when the soil dries to the touch; keep poinsettias moist.
- Remember, no night time light for holiday plants until they begin to bloom.
- Discontinue holiday plant feedings; reduce foliage plant feedings to every other month.
- Wash away dust and plant pests with a soapy water solution
- Check and treat outdoor plants for insects before bringing them indoors.
- Begin moving cold sensitive foliage plants indoors.
November 2017 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.