November, shorter cooler magical days, rich and deep!
Did you make super soil? If so, your composting is really paying off now! If you have more compost available, incorporate it with the soil in your new planting places, and plant another round! Keep ‘em coming! November, though cooler, is a rich planting time! If you planted back in Aug, Sep, it’s time to Sidedress! That is cultivating in some yummy compost, well aged manures, could be throwing on some bunny poop, or laying in some worm castings! This would be especially true for crops grown for leaf, like lettuces, chard and kales, and celery. Just know that castings are not for Nitrogen, food, but are for boosting your plants’ immune systems, plant-growth hormones. The humus in castings improves your soil’s capacity to hold water. Castings suppress several diseases and significantly reduce parasitic nematodes, aphids, mealy bugs and mites. Do not enrich soil by your carrots. In over rich soil they fork and get hairy! Not too much water, or growth is too fast and they split.
Seeds: MORE beets, carrots near peas, fava, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce where they are easy to reach to harvest, spunky mustard greens, radishes, spinach, turnips, globe onions, parsley. Plant your fattest garlic cloves now through Dec 21, Winter Solstice, for June/July harvest! Companion planting tip: Carrots enhance the growth of peas; onions stunt peas! Plant the Allium family, onions, leeks, chives, at least 3′ away from your peas. Further is better.
Transplants: MORE brocs, collards, and Brussels sprouts only if it gets cold enough where you are planting. Do plant mixed varieties of cabbages, do cauliflower, celery, kales, parsley, turnips. Plant nutritious low-cal chard bouquets of all colors! Chop chard for salads, stir fries, to toss into stews. Sprinkle mycorrhizal fungi directly on the roots of your transplants when you put them in the ground! Ask for it at Island Seed & Feed. You won’t need much, and they will measure it out for you. Get your planties off to a good start!
- Artichoke now or in Feb, or in March from pony packs. Try some of the new varieties.
- Plant your Strawberries NOW! NOV 1 to 5 June bearers are Chandlers. Everbearers are Sequoias. Strawberry and onion varieties are region specific, strawberries even more than onions. So plant the varieties our local nurseries carry, or experiment!
1ST Half of Nov: Plant seeds of onions for slicing. Grano, Granex, Crystal Wax.
Fillers and accents, unders and besides, can be red bunch onions, bright radishes! Fall marks the end of the season for small red radishes, and the beginning of the season for larger daikon type radishes. Check out the amazing Health Benefits of Eating Radish
Bagradas Hatchings have occurred two days after hot temps. Hopefully with our cooler weather now, they will subside until Spring heats things up again. But do keep a very close watch for awhile yet. See these two posts: Bagrada Bug & Winter Veggies! UPDATE!
Gophers Sigh. I will remind you often to install gopher barriers. I did my plot just recently – 1/2 inch hardware cloth, 2 feet wide. I sunk it 18 inches deep, 6 inches above ground, around the outside perimeter of my plot. More than 18 inches deep is fine too. I did my daughter’s plot last year and have had no visitors. Cross fingers, knock on wood. Be sure to close the opening where sections join. We bent the wires around each other and put concrete pieces and flat rocks in to hold them tightly together so a gopher couldn’t wiggle or nudge through. So far, so good. Yes!
When you do your fall garden cleanup, turn the soil to expose the Verticillium and Fusarium Wilts fungi that so affects our tomatoes, and other plants, so the fungi dries and dies! Weed and clear pathways. Lay down seedless straw, a board, or stepping stones so your footwear doesn’t get muddy.
COMPOST! Start a pile, or get going in an enclosure or tumbler. If you don’t want a composter, trench in kitchen trim in the top 6 inches of your soil. Lay on straw over unplanted areas. That’s called sheet composting or composting in place – no turning or having to move it when it’s finished. If you have vermicomposting worms, put a handful in your compost to speed up the process.
Start gathering a stack of sheets, light blankets, old towels, in case of hard freezes. If a freeze should happen, for small plants, like tender lettuces, just lay down tomato cages and put your coverings over them, securing them so wind doesn’t blow them away.
This is your last chance to plant wildflowers from seed for early spring flowers! Germination in cooler weather takes longer, so don’t let the bed dry out. If you are a seed ball person, fling them far and wide, though not on steep slopes where they simply wash away. What is a, a seed ball? Go to the Mesa Harmony Garden FREE workshop Nov 3 and roll your own!