November continues to be a great gardening month. Now is the time for all plantings that don't mind a chill. In fact, these plants need the cooler weather to grow, flower and fruit properly.
Gardeners are not the only ones waiting for some heat relief. Many flowers like to feel the chill in the air too. Summer heat, humidity and rains are tough on many of our favorites but now these are going to love the cooler weather and you should too.
Plant the common petunias, pansies and snapdragons but what about something different too? Fall is also the time to sow the seeds for foxgloves, delphiniums, hollyhocks (pictured) and Iceland poppies. You start these seeds now to raise transplants for a little later planting. Then, come late winter or spring they are in bloom.
Another favorite of many gardeners is the sweet pea. Who can pass these vining plants without enjoying the pleasing aromas from their colorful blooms? Here is the secret - obtain seed for early flowering or short day types. Only these are going to bloom in local landscapes. Sow the seeds now to have blooms during the winter.
All cool season flowers do best in a prepared planting site and most like a full sun exposure. With sandy soils work in lots of organic matter. You can grow most in containers too. Start with a good soil mix and a clean container. Then add your flowers. All also benefit from regular feedings. This year you might try one of the slow release fertilizers that feed you plants for months. And don't forget to keep the soil moist too. Cooler months can be the drier times of the year.
Start your cool season vegetable garden too. Now, you do not have to grow everything you eat. Few gardeners do. But how about a few broccoli plants or maybe a bed of fancy lettuce? There are many great vegetables to grow listed in our November plantings. Remember most need full sun, frequent waterings and feeding every 3 to 4 weeks. Here is a suggestion - use a slow release fertilizer like the Miracle-Gro Shake's Feed and you may only have to feed once for the entire season.
Many great flowers and vegetables are ready to plant and enjoy during the fall through spring months.
Vegetable & fruit gardening:
- November is the best time to plant the cool season crops
- Harvest maturing warm season crops and plant those that like the cooler weather.
- The dry season is here; water when the surface soil begins to dry to the touch.
- Tomato and pepper planting time is over until spring.
- Start seeds of broccoli, cauliflower, collards, onions and similar to produce transplants.
- Plant and mulch strawberry beds.
- 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 composted 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.
- Caterpillars have been feeding in the garden; hand pick or use natural controls.
- Give bananas and pineapples a final fall feeding with a general garden fertilizer.
- Harvest maturing sweet potatoes plus tropical chayotes, cocoyams and dasheens.
- Delay all fruit tree pruning until late January or February.
- Lawns can dry quickly during the warmer days of November; water as permitted.
- 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
- 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.
- Have lawn soil tested by the University of Florida lab to ensure a proper feeding.
- 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.
- Continue mowing at normal heights.
- Dry months are ahead; conserve water with micro-sprinklers and mulches.
- Extended summer-like weather has produced extra growth; trim plantings as needed.
- Moist soils have encouraged weeds; hand pull or spot treat with the proper herbicides.
- Gardeners can begin planting pansy, petunia and other cool season flowers.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cooler months provide the ideal time to move small trees and shrubs in the landscape.
- Check braces and supports added to new trees, palms and shrubs.
- Hurricane season ends November 30; select small sturdy trees for new plantings
- Remove limbs and weeds interfering with sprinklers.
- Complete all tree, palm and shrub feedings by mid-month.
- Divide perennials and bulbs
Foliage and 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.
- - Bring cold sensitive foliage plants indoors.
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.