Master Gardener: Useful Gardening Tips For November | House and garden
Fall is in full swing this month. Now is the perfect time to plant almost any tree, shrub, perennial, ground cover, wildflower seed, and the last spring flowering bulbs. While the days are shorter and storms can affect our ability to work outdoors (we can expect many such interruptions!), It is generally more pleasant for us and for the plants, provided follow a few simple rules.
PLANTING: In cool autumn weather, transplanted plants will experience less shock. If we haven’t received enough rain yet to saturate the soil, fill the planting hole with water and allow it to drain, as you would at other times of the year. Wait until spring to plant frost-sensitive plants like citrus, avocados, bougainvillea, plants native to Baja California or the Channel Islands and many types of succulents from around the world, or if you are planting, prepare. protect them with a cover cloth. or other methods during the winter. It’s a particularly good month to plant these woody Californian and Mediterranean shrubs that don’t thrive with too much water in the summer. This includes manzanita, ceanothus, lavender, coffee and buckthorn, bush lupine, flannel bush, and rosemary. Remember, when planting trees, to remove the nursery stake that came with the plant and rolled up tightly against the trunk. If your new tree needs staking for a season or two, use bamboo or twisted poles and suitable tree ties and position the stake outward from the root ball. The trunk must be able to move a little in the breezes in order to strengthen itself.
November is the month to plant spring bulbs like daffodils and daffodils in a site where they will enjoy a sunny day at least until early summer. Buy bulbs that are firm and free from mold spots. Plant the bulb three times deeper than its height. Usually the pointed end of the bulb is placed upwards when planting. Add a handful of phosphorus-rich fertilizer mixed with soil at the base of the planting holes. Natural sources of phosphorus are animal manure, bones and bat guano. All spring bulbs should be planted before Thanksgiving.
If you are growing dahlias, November is the month to dig and divide overcrowded tubers. Store them in a cool, dry place until replanting in February.
At the start of the month, we can still plant winter vegetables like greens, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. This is good because I am always late to put these last seedlings in the ground.
HOLD: After the leaves have fallen, start pruning shrubs and deciduous trees, not only to shape them, but also to prevent storm damage. Our Master Gardener website has more comprehensive instructions and illustrations on proper tree pruning.
Fall and winter flowering plants and vegetables can be fertilized. Do not fertilize plants native to California. The exception is that you can provide your manzanita with a very low dose of fertilizer for acid-loving plants like azalea and camellia. Do not fertilize avocados, citrus fruits, palms, or other frost-sensitive plants in the fall.
If your peach tree or nectarine tree had deformed leaves during the summer, it probably had a “peach leaf curl”. This is a fungal disease that affects the fruiting body and, if severe, can lead to the death of the tree. To control the curl of peach leaves:
- Rake the leaves when they fall. Remove all the mummies and throw them away. Don’t add them to your compost pile.
- Spray the trunk, branches and soil under the tree with a copper-based fungicide or Bordeaux mixture (a mixture made from hydrated lime and copper sulfate). You can also use a synthetic fungicide. Products must contain 50% copper to be truly effective.
- One application is usually sufficient, however, if we have a wet winter, then spray again before the flower buds swell in the spring.
If you can, chop down any pruned branches and leaves to use as mulch. But if you know your plant clippings have a major disease or insect problem, send them to green waste and buy mulch instead. Sometimes in urban neighborhoods it is difficult to convince ourselves and our neighbors to use ordinary crushed plant material instead of uniform bark nuggets. The best mulch is that plants have leaves and twigs, but any type of mulch is better than nothing, so do what works for you. Rock and gravel are also considered mulch with many of the same benefits as organic produce.
If the month is rather dry, consider watering your trees and large shrubs deeply, even if they have lost their leaves. Your irrigation controller should be set down even if we don’t get a lot of rain. Cooler nights and shorter days mean most plants won’t need as much water, and waterlogged roots and drowned microorganisms could be a problem you won’t see before. next year, when the plants try to start growing again. If you have a water balance feature on your controller, November can mean fifty or forty percent of July. If you have a smart sensor controller, it can do this adjustment for you, but if you are not sure, find out so that you don’t waste water and harm the garden. Too much water also contributes to soil loss due to erosion. Be sure to check your city’s website for winter watering rules.
Stop dead rose bushes and other spring flowers to encourage them to go dormant. All plants need a period of dormancy to thrive into old age. Some of our native plants go dormant in the summer, but we are most familiar with plants like deciduous trees and roses that go dormant in the winter. Don’t fertilize or try to keep them too long. It is their season to relax for a winter break.
If you haven’t already, harvest winter squash and pumpkins. Place them in a cool, dry place to harden for a week or two, then they will last all winter and sometimes, if stored well, until next year.
KEEP: If you have non-native milkweeds (usually with orange or yellow flowers), make sure the flowers are already pruned to encourage monarchs to migrate. The cold winter will kill the butterflies if they stick around. You can check and fill bird feeders with fresh seeds and check after rainstorms to make sure the seeds don’t mold. Consider leaving seed stems on some of your grasses and perennials for the birds to feed on this winter.
In the vegetable garden, add straw, old hay, alfalfa pellets and / or compost to the flower beds. If you take care of the soil, your plants will be stronger and better able to withstand pest pressures next spring, saving you time and money and reducing the need for synthetic chemicals. . Keep after the weeds that use up the nutrients. It is too late to solarize the soil, but you can cover it with an anti-weed cloth or other cloth that allows the exchange of air and water until spring.
Have a good harvest! Happy (hopefully) rain and snow month!
Call us: Tulare County Master Gardeners: (559) 684-3325, Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 am-11:30am
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