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The Garden Writers Association


Last Update 11/02/13
November in the Florida Garden

 Cooler, Dryer Weather to Arrive Soon!

November is probably one of the best months of the year to garden in the Sunshine State. Cool, dry weather finally begins to visit Florida and usually makes itself welcome for the next six months. While we do not get the colorful leaf changes that our friends up north do, we are still treated to a nice show in some areas especially in the more northern parts of the state. Even in South Florida a keen eye will see that the wild grasses are beginning to turn brown, the scrub willows are shedding their leaves as are the Red Maples, Cypress trees and other deciduous trees -- many with a touch of fall color.

The cooler and dryer weather also helps to lessen the bug populations. By this time of the year fleas, chinch bugs, mosquitoes and others are hardly noticeable. There is also a change in the wildlife.  Not only will there be more snowbirds in the state, but many fine feathered migratory birds will be seen heading southward to their winter homes. Many of these birds will be making pit stops along the way to take in food and water before continuing their journey so make sure to fill your bird feeders with a mix of feeds so they will stop off in your yard for a snack before moving on! Be careful though because some of these birds just might take a liking to your vegetables and strawberries and help themselves to your crops.

Be aware that even though the cooler weather will lessen certain populations of insects, not all of them will disappear. Aphids, beetles, cutworms, cabbage worms, corn earworms, leaf miners, mole crickets, leaf hoppers, leaf rollers, squash bugs and other beasties will still be around to munch on your plants if you are not watchful. While Safer sprays and liquid Sevin or multipurpose vegetable dusts applied early will help to keep insects under control early detection and ecological control is the best medicine for your garden. I suggest fungicides and insecticides not be used on or around food crops.The choice is yours, but the wise approach right now would be to avoid using or being near toxic chemicals. If you choose to use chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers be sure to carefully read the labels before applying any chemicals to your garden.

While you may take a break from fertilizing your lawn and trees this month your vegetables and annuals should still be fed. A composted manure or balanced liquid fertilizer will be much appreciated by these plants and will help to give you an abundance of blooms and vegetables.

Also do not neglect to water your plants. Even though it is not as hot and your plants' water demands are not as great, judicious watering must still be done. Mulching your plants, of course, lessens how much water they will require.

Quick tips:

This is a great month to begin planting roses.  Be sure to buy locally pot grown varieties.

Let your nursery or garden center be your guide for growing annuals and vegetables.  Choose healthy specimens for a quick-start garden.

Declining lawns can be revived with the application of quick acting high nitrogen fertilizers and regular irrigation.

Careful attention to insect infestations and rust or fungal infections on your vegetables, herbs and flowers then immediate control will help to head off major problems later in the season.

Flower buds on your Poinsettias will begin to open and many tropical plants will begin to bloom.  Color will be just about everywhere.

The next few months are open to planting and growing almost anything you can imagine especially as far as herbs, vegetables and annuals are concerned.

 

Best bets for starting a traditional garden this month are:

Vegetables :  Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive, Escarole, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onion Sets, Parsley, Peppers, Pumpkins, Rhubarb, Romaine, Rutabagas, Spinach, Squash, Strawberries, Sweet Corn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and almost any other vegetable you desire.

Herbs:   Anise, Basil, Borage, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Fennel, Garlic, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame, Sweet Marjoram, Thyme and most other herbs.

Flowers:   Amaryllis, Asters, Baby's Breath, Bachelor's Buttons, Balsam, Calendulas, Callas, Candytufts, Carnations, Cosmos, Cockscombs, Daisies, Dianthus, Forget-Me-Nots, Gaillardias, Gladiolas, Globe Amaranth, Hollyhocks, Lace Flowers, Lilies, Lobelias, Lupines, Marigolds, Narcissus, Nasturtiums, Pansies, Salvias, Scabiosa, Snapdragons, Statice, Stock, Strawflowers, Sweetpeas, Sweet William, Verbenas, and other cool season flowers.

Sources: Florida Home Grown; Florida Gardening Month by Month

 
 

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