November Gardening Tips
If you didn’t finish your fall planting in October; do it early this month. November usually marks the start of the rainy season for us. Prune dense trees and make sure young trees are well-staked now before the winter storms. Now is an excellent time to plant native wildflowers.
What to Plant
- Finish planting cool-season flowers, permanent landscape plants, trees and shrubs and groundcovers.
- Sow seeds for wildflowers like California poppy, Chinese houses, mountain garland, owl’s cover and farewell-to-spring. Plant or sow just before a big storm or between storms. Fall is the best time to plant your Native Wild Flower Garden!!
- Transplant biennials started from seed in August.
- Plant a basket of narcissus for holiday bloom.
- Continue to plant bulbs. Plant now any spring-flowering bulb that doesn’t require pre-chilling. Choices include anemones, daffodils, grape hyacinth, ranunculus, scilla, and species tulips. South African bulbs such as freesia, ixia, sparaxis, and watsonia are particularly suited to our climate and naturalize readily here. Tulips, crocus and hyacinths need to be refrigerated for 6 to 8 weeks before planting in December (inland) or January (coast).
- Plant flowering kale.
- Continue to plant winter vegetables, including garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, hohlrabi, mustard, lettuce and other greens. Also beets, carrots, radishes, turnips and other root crops. Plant artichoke, asparagus, rhubarb.
- Plant Onions early this month to harvest big sweet onions next June, sow seeds of winter onions early this month. Winter onions that grow well here though the winter months include Gano, Granex, Imperial Sweet and Crystal Wax.
- Continue to plant winter herbs such as rosemary, lavender, thyme and rue. You can plant annual herbs such as borage, calendula, cilantro, chickweed, chives and nasturtium.
- Plant bare-root strawberries before mid-month. Use your own pre-chilled runners or plants purchased from a nursery.
- Divide and plant agapanthus.
- Order low chill, bare root trees and vines to plant in December or January.
- Prepare and plant California Natives. The next few months are the best for establishing native plants. California Lilac, California Holly, Monkeyflower, California Tree Mallow, Coffeeberry and others. Several low-growing varieties of Manzanita make great native groundcovers. For more information on natives visit Las Pilitas Nursery – When to Plant
- Now is a good time to plant or repair lawns with cool season grasses! Whether you are starting a new lawn or repairing thin areas of your existing turf, we have many options available in different sizes to fit your growing area. Grangetto’s Tall or Dwarf Fescue Seed, Marathon® I or Marathon® II Lawn Seed, Am Sod® Tall Fescue.
Feeding and Maintenance
- Over-seed your warm-season lawn, for year-round green grass. Use cool-season grasses such as Annual Rye Grass Seed for quick germination and top with Kellogg® Topper®. 50 pounds of Annual Rye Grass seed covers 5,000 square feet. Keep the ground damp until rye seeds sprout.
- Feed cool-season lawns with a cool season fertilizer such as Best® Nitra-King® 21-2-4
- Don’t feed warm season lawns anymore. They are going dormant this time of year.
- Keep Lawns Healthy: Rake falling leaves from lawns as leaves could impede lawn growth. If a lawn is in need of repair – sow in annual rye seeds to cover brown spots and to introduce new growth. After seeding, scatter a light covering of soil amendment and water thoroughly.
Plants, Trees and Shrubs
- VEGETABLES – Continue to plant cool-season veggies that will not be subject to frost injury. Plant seeds of short-day onions and garlic cloves this month for bulbs next summer. Plant dormant crowns of artichoke, asparagus and rhubarb. To avoid crown rot of rhubarb, plant in containers with porous potting soil and transplant into garden after several leaves have formed.
- HERBS – You can prune your rosemary, sage & lavender to shape it. Harvest lemongrass, chaste berries, ginkgo leaves and fennel seed. Plant perennials such as rosemary, lavender and thyme.
- FRUIT TREES & VINES – Provide frost protection to young avocado, citrus and other subtropical fruit trees. We have many options available for frost protection. Prune cane berries other than low-chill raspberries.
- DECIDUOUS FRUIT TREES – Prune trees and vines after their foliage has dropped. Spray dormant deciduous trees and vines with Horticultural Oil to kill scale, insects, spider mites and other over-wintering pests. Spray peach and nectarine trees with a recommended fungicide to control peach leaf curl. Wait until early spring to prune evergreens. Order low chill, bare root trees and vines to plant in December or January.
- FLOWERS & PLANTS – Divide matilija poppy. Cut back chrysanthemums after bloom; clean up the ground.
- ROSES – Pull rose petals off old blooms instead of cutting the stems. This will encourage rose hips and semi-dormancy. Last month should have been your last feeding of the year; there is no need to feed roses this month so not to encourage new growth. Select roses that are not performing well and remove. Prepare the hole for a new rose with amendments if needed.
- PLUMERIA – Prepare for winter dormancy if you didn’t do so last month. Feed well with a high phosphorus fertilizer if not done in October. Remove dead flowers & leaves. They start to turn yellow and snap off very easily. Be sure to remove potted Plumerias from out of the rain. Too much rain can cause damage to your prized plant! Place next to a building or under a covered patio to protect from cold. Cover soil in pots with mulch. When frost is a threat, bring pants inside if you can. Once leaves are dormant, hold back all water and fertilizer.
- NATIVE PLANTS – If you haven’t already prepared your native landscape for winter & spring do so now. Prune and deadhead the sages and buckwheats. Do not prune toyon because it will still look very good in November & December. Dig new holes for plantings. Fill with water several times and allow to drain before planting. Little or no soil amendments should be used. The next few months are the best for establishing your native plant garden. Plant native wildflowers. Even though these natives are drought tolerant, they need regular watering during establishment. So, if the rains are late, do irrigate.
- FERNS – Most ferns aren’t growing much this time of year so don’t over water them. Trim off dead fronds. Fertilize early this month and then stop until spring.
- DAHLIAS – Allow the plants to go dormant. Hold water and fertilizer. When the stalk is brown about 12 inches from the ground, cut it off. Leave the tubers in the ground to harden off if it resides in well draining soil. Otherwise lift roots before a heavy rain. Wash clumps after digging. Let them dry a few hours before storing. If dividing tubers, treat cuts with soil sulfur, then store out of the weather in vermiculite or other medium.
- CAMELLIAS – Continue feeding your camellias this month through January with Gro Power® Flower N’ Bloome 3-12-12 for larger blooms. Remove all but the largest bud where bud clusters exist. Disbudding provides larger but fewer blooms. Pick up blooms that fall to the ground to prevent diseases such as petal blight. Feed with an iron supplement such as Ironite for dark green leaves. If rains are heavy, cut back on watering. Just remember not to let your plants dry out if rains are not adequate.Camellias are in their dormant season (October – March). Move, re-pot or bare-root and re-pot now. When planting in the ground or a pot, plant one inch higher than soil level. Camellias don’t like their crowns covered. Be sure to check the tag on your camellia to check if the prefer sun or shade.
- BEGONIAS – Continue watering if rains are not adequate. Clean out spent blooms and dead leaves. Keep roots covered by adding soil or mulch. Spray for pests, insects or mildew. Feed your plants lightly several times a month. If you’re using a slow release fertilizer you do not need to feed as often.
- BROMELIAS – Reduce watering and stop fertilizing your outdoor plants during the cold months. You may continue to fertilizer your green house/indoor plants year round. Protect your plants from frost, wind or hail. Use shade cloth to protect from hail or DeWitt Frost cloth during freezing temperatures.
- ORCHIDS – Look for aphids and other pests on outdoor plants. Water plants before noon and protect outdoor orchids from evening moisture. Do not overwater outdoor plants. Water and fertilize less in winter. Train developing spikes on cymbidiums.
- PELARGONIUMS – Start a pruning program to get fuller plants and more blooms in the spring. Start new plants from cuttings. Clean plants by removing dead, damaged or older leaves. Watch for geranium rust in high humidity areas and treat. Do not let plants go dry if rains are not adequate.
- TREES & SHRUBS – Open up spaces in dense trees to allow wind to pass through. Prune acacias. Stake young trees loosely so they can develop strong trunks.
- TROPICALS – Don’t prune tropicals.
- CACTI & SUCCULENTS – Watch the weather and be aware of cooler temperatures. Keep your frost tender cacti & succulent plants in a dry protected area. These include lithops, adeniums, pachypodiums, small potted cacti and others. Trim trees and bushes removing all dead foliage to insure adequate sunshine. Potted plants should have proper drainage.
- CLEAN UP– Continue cleaning dead leaves and debris.
- PREPARE FOR RAIN AND WIND – Get ready for winter rains. Grangetto’s carries a full line of erosion materials such as, straw wattles, straw mats, silt fence, and jute netting. Grangetto’s also carries rain gear, such as rain boots & suits, tarps and plastic sheeting.
- REPAIR DRAIN SYSTEMS – Repair drain systems if needed. Grangetto’s carries a variety of drainage supplies, such as drain pipe, grates and boxes.
- MULCH, MULCH, MULCH – If you haven’t already, apply a layer of mulch on flower beds and around trees and shrubs 2-3 inches around the base of plants. It reduces weeds, conserves moisture, and prevents disease. Great stuff!
- As the weather cools and days are shorter, reset your irrigation timer to water less frequently. However, don’t change the number of minutes the system waters each time.
- In many areas, trees and shrubs will need watering only every week to week and a half, and citrus trees just once a month. But, be sure not to let citrus dry out during times of frost/freeze.
- Continue periodic and thorough irrigation of fruit trees to maintain adequate soil moisture until winter rains begin.
- Reduce watering to your roses so that the rose will survive but not be encouraged to grow.
- Now is a perfect time to start planning on how you are going to save water in your landscape, if you haven’t already. Installing or retrofitting an existing irrigation system to utilize the most up-to-date technology will help you save water. Grangetto’s can help you make the SMART WATER CHOICE in your landscape. Call us or stop by your favorite location so we can help! Here are some water saving devices
- Be sure to follow your local watering restrictions and guidelines
Pests to Watch out For
- Gophers – Use Wilco® Gopher Bait, and a Gopher Probe to accurately put the bait where the gopher will eat it.
- Lawn pests – Use Bayer® Complete Insect Killer
- Squirrels – Use Wilco® Squirrel Bait & Bait Station or for live trapping use the Squirrelinator®.
- Rats & Mice – Use baits, snap traps or sticky traps.
- Raccoons – Use Havahart® traps.
- Caterpillars – Use Safer® Caterpillar Killer, Monterey® Garden Insect Spray.
- Rose Pests – Use Bayer® All-in-One Rose & Flower Care or Bayer® 3-in-1 Insect Disease and Mite Control.
- Fruit Tree Pests – Use Monterey® Garden Insect Spray to combat caterpillars and other listed pests on fruit trees, vegetables and ornamentals. It is OMRI listed for Organic Use too.
- Weeds – Hand pull weeds in garden beds. Use Bonide® Crabgrass Preventer or Bayer® Season Long Weed Control in lawns. Use Green Light® Amaze in ornamentals & flower beds. For non-selective areas, use Roundup® or Weed Zap(Organic option). Be sure to use a good sprayer such as Hudson® Sprayers.