Friday, 1 November 2013

November Garden and Yard Ramblings

What to do in the month of November in the yard? In the garden? What to plant now? If you are in the colder regions of the world, with snow or hard frosts already, you likely are buttoned up already for the winter and eagerly awaiting spring.
However if you are on the PNW or more temperate areas, well, still lots of time to do lots of things.

Plant some peas, your doggies will thank you ; )

What to plant now...(Can you believe that I still have this head line in here? Amazing, eh?)

In the garden..
Peas - plant now for an early crop in spring. Sow heavier than you would normally as you will likely have a lower germination rate.
- Broad beans
- Garlic - yes, still time to get it in
- Asparagus - if you can find some crowns ) a friend is thinning out her bed, maybe?) now is a great time to plant them up. Read my asparagus planting and growing tips HERE.

Under cover... ( Stuff you may want to germinate under grow lights and then move out to your cold frame. They can handle to cooler temps, but germination will be lower and slower due to the lack of daylight.
- Lettuce mixes with arugula, mache, cress, mustard...

Interesting useful idea ...
Cold frames can easily be made into hot frames or hot beds by placing some 'hot' or 'raw' manure underneath the compost/soil or the potted plants. The raw manure heats up the frame as it rots down into composted manure.
Also, make sure to slant the windows of your cold frame or hotbed towards the south so that it takes up loads up light.

Want flowers in your potager come spring?
Plant them up now!

Flowers to plant from seed now ...
- Calendula
- Poppies
- Sweet peas
- Larkspur
- Delphiniums
- Can still try throwing down some cosmos and cleome, as well.
- Plant lilies as long as you can chip a hole into the ground!
- Spring flowering bulbs - tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths, crocuses, etc...

Ornamental cabbage and winter heather. 

In Flower beds or focal points...
- Plant ornamental kale or cabbages, bellis, pansies, heather, etc... to add fall and winter colour and interest. (pop some bulbs under the plants for spring interest)

What to do in the yard this month ....

- Rake up those leaves, shred them up by running a lawn mower over them, and then top dress your gardens with the leaves.
Alternately, pile them up, or bag them and leave them to break down into leaf mould, which is an amazingly fabulous top dressing and mulch for your veggies and flowers,

- If your tree form roses (standards) have lost their leaves, this is a good time to cut them back to prevent breakage during the winter rains and snows. Also cut back any other really tall roses to about 18" to prevent winter breakage.
You can also spray them ( plus fruit trees that have lost their foliage)  with a dormant oil and sulphur mix to prevent pests and fungal diseases next year.

- Top dress your garden beds with compost or manure, leaves, etc.. allowing it to break down and amend your soil all winter long.

- Mow lawns and trim the edges for the last time this year, add lime here on the island.

- Clean up any fallen fruits, leaves, branches, etc.. from under your fruit trees. This prevents pests and disease from over wintering. Put tree wraps on your young trees to protect them from the deer, rabbits and mice/voles this winter and early spring.

- Divide any overgrown perennials. Share the extras with friends.

- PNW- Move pots and planters under the carport, the eaves of the house, or cover with boards, pot saucers, etc.. to keep the pots from rotting in the winter rains. Or, add pot feet to the bottoms to raise them off the ground for better drainage.

-Lift dahlias, glads, cannas, callas, etc.... and store over the winter. See the last blog post for how-to's HERE!.

- Clean and sterilise your summer pots and planters with a 10% bleach solution before you put them away.

- If not in the PNW, deep water your trees and shrubs in preparation for the winter.

In The Potager ...
- lift the last of your onions, potatoes, squash, parsnips,  etc... leave carrots in the ground and pick them all winter long. Cure the spuds, squash, and onions so that they store well through the winter.

- Pick the last of the tomatoes and peppers, make into sauces, salsas, or slow oven roast the tomatoes and peppers for a fabulous treat all winter long.

- Harvest Brussels sprouts, cabbage and the last yummy bits of kale.

- Cover the spinach, greens and lettuce beds with a frost blanket or hoops for fresh greens well into the winter.Or close the cold frame window, opening it up on any sunny days!

- Plant new fruit trees, shrubs, and strawberry runners or plants.

- Sow your breadseed and/or pepperbox poppies now.

- Want blanched leeks? this is the time to hill them up with soil to blanch them.

- Use a board on top of the soil if you have to walk in your beds, to avoid compaction.

- Top dress your beds with fresh manure or compost. Do a simple inexpensive soil test now so that you know exactly what to add to your beds to break down over the winter... then you are ready to go first thing in spring!

For The Yuletide
- For the birds .. make birdseed wreathes and bells for the birds. Set out suet feeders.

- Plant up your amaryllis bulbs, paper whites, hyacinths ...

- Re-pot your front urns or planters to reflect the winter and yuletide season.

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