Q: What garden chores are appropriate in November? — Connie W., Paso Robles
A: By November we are well into our rainy season, which means there are things to do in anticipation of wet weather. If you haven’t already done so, adjust your watering cycle. Even if rain is scarce, plants require less water due to the sun’s lower angle and the shorter daylight hours of fall. Also, be sure to clean out street and rain gutters, downspouts and storm drain areas in advance of winter storms.
Get plants in place so they can take advantage of winter rain. Divide perennials, transplant trees and shrubs, and get native plants in the ground now so they are well established by spring. You can plant cool-season vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, peas, potatoes, radishes, greens and lettuces, plus ornamentals such as snapdragons, pansies, sweet alyssum, and foxglove.
Some lawn care is in order at this time of year as well.
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Rake built-up thatch and fertilize cool weather grasses such as tall fescue, or spread some compost on the lawn to condition the soil. Take a little time to remove weeds from the lawn and other planting areas. You don’t want weeds to take advantage of the rainy season.
Leaf clutter certainly needs attention this time of year.
Leaves from trees, such as peach or nectarine, or shrubs with disease issues should be raked frequently and put into your green waste receptacle to help control further spread of the disease. Leaves that are pest-free, however, can be composted for use in the garden down the road.
There is definitely plenty to do in November!
Calling all school gardeners!
If you work in a school garden as a volunteer or teacher, please join the Master Gardeners of San Luis Obispo County’s Garden-Based Learning Committee from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 9 for a free workshop, “Harvest Lessons Learned.” On the agenda: how to sustain gardening programs, volunteer teams, facilities, budgets and curriculum. The workshop will be at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo in the auditorium.
For more information contact Teresa Lees at email@example.com.
GOT A GARDENING QUESTION?
Contact the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners: at 781-5939 from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday and Thursday; at 473-7190 from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Arroyo Grande; and at 434-4105 from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Templeton. Visit the UCCE Master Gardeners website at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo or email firstname.lastname@example.org .