November, though cooler, is a rich planting time! 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!
Transplants: MORE brocs, planting different varieties alternately in your patch to confuse pests. Cilantro is said to make it grow REALLY well, bigger, fuller, greener! Collard greens are terrific nutrition steamed or chopped in winter stews. Plant Brussels sprouts only if it gets cold enough where you are planting. Do plant mixed varieties of cabbages, the big whites, and lycopene and anthocyanins rich reds. These powerful antioxidants help keep your heart healthy and prevent prostate cancer. Try some purple or orange cauliflowers! Celery thrives in crispy weather. Healthy parsleys almost glow, and turnips are good for their greens too! 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. Or spray on the liquid variety. Get your planties off to a good start!
Seeds: MORE beets, for greens and bulbs of many magic colors! Kales are practically a flower – lovely Red Russians and beautiful curly leafs! Kohlrabi is just fun looking! Plant cool season lettuces where they are easy to reach to harvest; they are more likely to head when it’s cool. Spunky mustard greens, like the giant reds, are not only tasty, but are a trap plant for Bagrada Bugs. Grow regular radish, and those long icicle radishes and the larger daikons now. And more spinach, turnips and parsley. 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.
We had Halloween, and if you didn’t plant in late Oct, now is still a great time for GARLIC! Oh, yes, all kinds of that fine stinky garlic! Plant your fattest garlic cloves now through Dec 21, Winter Solstice, for June/July harvests! See a LOT about GARLIC!
Plant your bareroot Strawberries NOW! NOV 1 to 5 Yes, the Santa Barbara dates are that specific! 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 globe onions for slicing. Grano, Granex, Crystal Wax.
Bareroot Artichoke now or in Feb, or in March from pony packs. Try some of the new varieties.
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 high in 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.
RESTORE OR REST AN AREA Plant some hefty favas or a vetch mix for green manures and to boost soil Nitrogen. The vetch mix can include Austrian peas and bell beans, plus oats to break up the soil (they have deep roots). Favas are big and you get a lot of green manure per square foot. If you change your mind, you can eat them! 🙂 Or cover an area you won’t be planting with a good 6″ to a foot deep of mulch/straw and simply let the herds of soil organisms do their work over winter. That’s called sheet composting or composting in place – no turning or having to move it when it’s finished. If you are vermicomposting, have worms, add a few handfuls to speed up and enrich the process. Next spring you will have rich nutritious soil for no work at all!
When you do 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.
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 tomato cages on their sides and put your coverings over them, securing them well so wind doesn’t blow them away and damage your other plants.
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?
See the entire November newsletter – November Veggie Gardening, Kale, Mycorrhizae Fungi, Green Friday, Henry Ford Greenhouse!
The Green Bean Connection started as correspondence for the Santa Barbara CA USA Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden. We are very coastal, in the fog belt part of the year, so keep that in mind compared to the microclimate niche where your veggie garden is.