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November Organic Maintenance


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NOVEMBER

Plant*:
  • Trees, shrubs vines, ground covers and tough perennials.
  • Spring bulbs, including daffodils and grape hyacinths. Pre-cool tulips and Dutch hyacinths for forty-five days at about 40° prior to planting in December.
  • Spring and summer flowering perennials, including daisies, daylilies, iris, lilies, lythrum, thrift, etc.
  • Finish planting cool season spring-flowering annuals including alyssum, California and Iceland poppies, dianthus and English daisies, flowering cabbage and kale, Johnny jump ups, pansies, petunias, pinks, snapdragons, etc.
  • Finish planting cool-season grasses such as rye and fescue, also clover and vetch.
  • Dwarf white clover in bare areas as needed.
  • Finish planting cool season vegetable crops and herbs.

Fertilize:
  • Apply one-half inch of compost to poorly performing turf areas.
  • Bulbs, annuals and perennials with earthworm castings, other quality com- posts and other gentle, organic fertilizers.
  • Indoor plants with earthworm castings, lava sand and other low-odor, organic fertilizers.
  • Foliar feed actively growing plants with aerated compost, fish and seaweed or Garret Juice.
  • Cool season grasses and other growing plants with organic fertilizer at one-half rates.

Prune:
  • Remove all vines from trees, limbs, trunks and root flares.
  • Remove ground covers, grasses and soils from the bases of trees.
  • Begin major tree pruning if needed. Protect the branch collars by never making flush cuts. Remove dead limbs if possible before leaves fall. Do not over-prune.
  • Pick-prune shrubs to remove longest shoots, if needed. Lightly sheer unruly plants.
  • Remove spent blooms on annuals and perennials or leave the seed heads on flowering plants for the birds.
  • Cut off tops of brown perennials. Remove spent annuals but leave roots in the soil.

Water:
  • All planting areas at least once if no rain. Add one tablespoon to one ounce of apple cider vinegar to each gallon of water used on indoor and outdoor potted plants - or at least as often as possible.

Pests:
  • INSECTS: Check the roots of removed annuals and other suspicious plants for nematodes (knots on the roots). Treat infected soil with biostimulants, molasses, compost and/or citrus pulp.
  • Check houseplants for spider mites, scale and aphids. Apply whole ground cornmeal or dry granulated garlic to the soil. Spray as needed with biostimulants and mild soap products such as BioWash and seaweed products. Use plant oils and lightweight horticultural oils as a last resort.
  • Watch lawn for signs of grubworm damage. Grass will be loose and not connected to the soil. Treat with dry molasses or beneficial nematodes. These insects are rarely a problem for organic gardeners with healthy soil.
  • DISEASES: If brown patch disease is still showing in turf, treat with horticultural or whole ground cornmeal and drench with garlic tea if the problem persists. Applying dry granulated garlic has also proven to be effective. Spraying BioWash is also effective.
  • WEEDS: Hand remove.

Odd Jobs:
  • Pick tomatoes the day before the first freeze. Let them ripen indoors.
  • Put spent annuals and other vegetative matter into the compost piles. Mulch fallen leaves into the turf. Put excesses in beds or in the compost pile.
  • Add native tree trimmings mulch to cover all bare soil. Do not till or plow once healthy soil has been developed in the vegetable garden.
  • Mulch all bare ornamental beds for winter protection.
  • Turn compost piles as time allows.
  • Feed and water the birds!

* Planting recommendations based on North Texas climate. Check with your local garden centers and extension services for specific varieties and timing in your area.

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