Harris County Master Gardener Offers Expert Tips for November Gardening

Harris County Master Gardener Offers Expert Tips for November Gardening

November 07 2023

by Karen Shook, Master Gardener

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall” - Oscar Wilde

Like most of you, I am truly grateful for the beautiful fall weather we are enjoying as I write this note in mid-October. But remember, November comes with a chance of frost so be sure to have your frost supplies ready. Historically, first frost in Zone 8 is November 7 to November 28. First frost in Zone 9 is November 25 to December 13.Keep beds mulched to discourage weeds. Watch for and treat pests before they settle in for the winter.

Gather those fallen leaves (yours and your neighbors if they don’t use) and use them as mulch or as the “brown” in your com- post. I admit to knowing which neighbors have weed free (or at least low weed) yards.

If you are planning design changes, now is a good time to dig and prepare planting beds to be planted in the spring. Remember soil preparation is critical to garden success.

Perennials and Ornamental Grasses
  • Finish dividing spring blooming perennials. Most perennials perform best if divided every couple of years.
  • Thin and transplant volunteer seedlings.
  • As chrysanthemums and other perennials finish blooming, cut the stalks to the ground..
  • You can still seed wildflowers in zones 8b to 9 in early November. Rake the soil, scatter seeds, lightly rake in and water.
  • Plant cool weather annuals like snapdragons, pinks, poppies, calendula, stock, dianthus, alyssum. There seem to be many opinions on when to plant pansies and violas. Some say to plant in Sept, some say October, others say you may want to wait until November. Personally, I needed the color boost so it was mid-October for me. Fertilize and mulch.
  • Finish planting spring bulbs (except tulips and hyacinths... wait until December for those). Note tulip bulbs should be refrigerated for at least three weeks. While bulbs are often planted in clusters or drifts, I sometime plant a bulb or two individually. I love the surprise each year when they bloom.
  • Cut back foliage that has browned. Mark the location of dormant summer bulbs. It is also a good idea to mark where you plant spring bloomers so you don’t accidentally dig them up or damage them digging in the vicinity.
Shrubs and Trees
  • It is a good time to plant or move woody ornamentals including shrubs, roses, trees and woody vines.
  • Avoid severe pruning. You don’t want to signal a plant to set m out new growth as the weather is cooling.
  • Celebrate Texas Arbor Day on Saturday, November 4 by planting a tree.
  • Gather fallen leaves so they don’t shade your lawn. Or using a mulching mower, mulch them down into the lawn to help cover the soil surface and deter cool season weeds. Or gather them for mulch or composting.
  • Apply preemergent herbicide in early November if you didn’t do in October.
Vines and Groundcovers
  • You can plant hardy perennial groundcovers and vines. They may not show growth, but will establish roots for better growth in spring.
  • Mulch tender vines covering the roots and lower stems.
Edibles (vegetables, herbs, berries, fruits)

Source: Harris County Master Gardeners Urban Dirt Newsletter (November 2023 Edition)

About Urban Dirt

Each month, Harris County Master Gardeners publishes an informative, resourceful newsletter entitled "Urban Dirt". This article was derived from the November 2023 edition. To read the November 2023 edition of this newsletter, click the button below.

URBAN DIRT - November 2023 EDITION

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