Southern California Gardener's November Checklist

The days are becoming shorter, and the odor of cinnamon and pumpkin seed will soon be in the air. It may seem like your garden is headed for its winter nap, but in Southern California there is always something you can do to create your beds as bountiful as the Thanksgiving Day feast. Just a little legwork today will ensure amazing blooms in spring and winter-long produce in your veggie garden.

It’s still prime planting season in Southern California, especially for sailors, Mediterranean plants and cool-season veggies. See below for planting tips and extra garden tasks.

Habitat Design

Cut back (many) perennials. And grasses too. To get sages (Salvia, Perovskia as well as others) search for new expansion pushing against the bottom of the plant, then cut this year’s expansion, leaving 4 to 6 inches of stem.

For warm-season grasses, the last year’s growth typically browns out in the autumn. Cut it back to 4 to 6 inches too.

Las Pilitas Nursery

Prepare for winter . Thin evergreen trees before the winter storms arrive to decrease wind resistance and the prospect of storm damage. Hire a certified arborist or read up on proper pruning methods if you are intending to do the task yourself.

Treat peach leaf curl. If leaf curl (puckered leaves which turn yellow or reddish ) was an issue in your peaches and nectarines this year, spray them with lime sulfur once they go dormant.

Caution:Avoid spraying apricot trees, as lime sulfur is toxic for them.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Overseed warm-season lawns with annual rye — or not. Warm-season lawns (Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia etc.) are going into dormancy. When the seasonal siesta and its accompanying brown color are not to your taste, now’s the time to overseed your lawn with annual winter rye grass. Here’s how.

• Give the yard a supershort haircut.
• Sow the seeds per the bundle label.
• Top-dress the place with nice compost.
• Maintain the ground damp until you find the grass sprout.
• Once you’ve got a great 3 to 4 inches of expansion, you are ready for the very first mowing.

Continue planting cool-season veggies and flowers this month. Leafy varieties and root crops love the cooler weather which November brings.

Plant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, lettuce and other greens. Root crops include beets, carrots, radishes, and turnips. Make the most of the vast range of varieties now readily available in the nursery or through seed catalogs.

The New York Botanical Garden

Sow onions and garlic this month for harvesting next June.

Short-day, aka group 1 or chilly onions, go at the ground this month. Some Fantastic onion varieties for SoCal comprise Imperial Sweet, Grano and Crystal Wax.

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Give berries a bit love this month. Divide and plant last year’s tomatoes or make bare-root varieties from the nursery at the ground before mid-November.

Cut back the old canes of berry crops (blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry, ollalaberry, loganberry etc.) into the ground. Leave fresh smooth-barked canes that grew this year to bear fruit .

Caution: For low-chill raspberries, wait till December or January to cut the canes back.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

Sow wildflower seeds in anticipation of winter rains. Pick a Western wildflower seed mixture that includes both annuals and perennials, or find your favorite flower seeds and create your own blend.

A few showy wildflower species which do good in our Southern California climate comprise California poppies, larkspur, Lineria, Baby blue eyes, Clarkia, Chinese houses, Godetia and lupine.

The Todd Group

Spring-flowering bulbs. Continue planting any spring-flowering bulbs you didn’t get in the ground last month. Bulbs to plant now include anemones, daffodils, grape hyacinth, ranunculus, scilla, several species of tulips, freesia, Ixia, Sparaxis and Watsonia.

Enjoy the fruits of this season. Beautiful persimmons dangling from trees are hitting their tastiest this month. This bright, autumn-y fruit comes on as the leaves drops, leaving small”lanterns” hanging from the branches that are bare.

See related