November Gardening Activities - Region 6
Gardening Tips for November
Tropical and Sub-Tropical Gardens
States in the region:
Hawaii, Florida (Southern), Texas (Southern), Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
and other U.S. Territories
Key Issues for November
- Be on the lookout for grassy weeds in St. Augustine grass. If your lawn is weed-infested, treat it with a broad-leaved herbicide (AKA weed killer) when air temperatures are below 80 degrees F. As always, carefully follow all label directions!
- Be on the lookout for any remaining fall armyworms in the lawn, too. Zap them now to break their life cycle.
- Avoid fungal problems in the lawn, like brown patch. Water your turf during the early hours of the day, and avoid watering as evening approaches. If you notice any round, brown, dead patches on your turf, look for rotting grass crowns. Remove dead grass with raking, and dig out actively rotting grass at the edges of the patch.
- Check your trees for bagworm capsules. If you find any, remove and destroy this pest and its “bags” immediately.
- Check your garden for scale as well. This plant pest can be sprayed with dormant oil now and again in early spring.
- Replenish depleted mulch in the landscape to maintain necessary moisture during the dry months ahead. (A 1- to 2-inch layer of organic mulch is all you need.) Avoid creating “mulch volcanoes” by keeping your mulch a few inches away from the crowns or trunks of plants.
- Save money on mulch by recycling yard waste for instant “homegrown” material.
- Resist the urge to prune your trees and shrubs. (The time to prune again is in February.)
- Harvest citrus as it ripens. Many varieties don’t store well on the trees, and old excess fruit can inhibit growth and the development of blooms for next year’s harvest. Most varieties are ripe when the fruit releases easily from the branch with a flick of the wrist. Harvest easy-to-peel fruit by clipping it off to avoid damaging the fruit’s skin.
- Grow orchids – these gorgeous plants aren’t just for the advanced gardener! A frost-free climate is perfect for producing lots of exotic blooms – provided you choose the right species and give your plants the proper growing conditions.
- Fill your empty trellis or outdoor screen with Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle). This North American native vine blooms year-round in frost-free zones, climbs by twining and is drought-tolerant. Its lovely coral-red flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
- Check all your irrigation equipment and timers to make sure they’re in excellent working order. Perform routine maintenance to ensure efficient operation. Cut turf and branches away from sprinkler heads, check rain cut-off switches, fix any leaks or breaks, and unclog heads. Inspect your drip system or low-flow heads for blockages, algae or other damage as well.
- Add winter squash to your Thanksgiving Day menu. Butternut and acorn squash are traditional holiday foods – and they’re good for you! Roasted squash is an easy and delicious way to get more of this healthful veggie into your family’s diet.
- Force paperwhite bulbs for holiday enjoyment. Blooming paperwhites are known for their intoxicating fragrance, especially during the winter holidays. If you’d like to enjoy them (or give them as gifts) in December, now’s the time to get started!
- Feed the birds the fun way: Make a pinecone bird feeder with the kids and grandchildren! Just roll pinecones in peanut butter and birdseed. Hang the finished ornaments with rustic twine or ribbon in shrubs and trees near windows and seating areas for quiet observation and enjoyment.
- Offer water to local wildlife – the dry season affects them, too! A water feature is one of the most important components when attracting wildlife to a landscape. Remember, water is a precious resource, so install features that use water wisely. Keep them clean and replenish only as needed.
- Plant container-grown roses. Look for types that are promoted as being disease-resistant, like Knock Out® roses. You’ll be thankful you did.
- Remove any mummified fruits from trees, and rake up those that have fallen to the ground. Leaving them where they are might set the disease triangle into motion, causing disease and insect damage over the 2014 gardening season.
- Grow a salad, and plant different types of lettuce. Extend your harvest season by planting successively throughout the growing season for a continuous supply of leafy greens.
- Plant seasonal veggies every 2 weeks through February for a continual harvest of fresh, homegrown produce. (This technique, called successive planting, works particularly well with sweet corn, radishes and beans.)