November Gardening? No Problem!

It’s fall now. That brings returning rains, greener landscapes, gorgeous roses and wrapping up fall planting. As usual, we have a handy guide for you that explains what you can plant, fall maintenance and smart pruning.


Believe it or not, there are a great many choices available for planting in November! Read on!

  • Native wildflowers like California poppies
  • Beds of cool-season flowers, such as calendula, candytuft, pansies, foxgloves, stock, snapdragons, sweet alyssum and sweet peas
  • Cool-season vegetables: carrots, broccoli, lettuces & greens, cauliflower, peas, radishes and potatoes
  • Cool-season bulbs that you chilled in October if they’ve been chilled for six to eight weeks. Otherwise, buy pre-chilled bulbs at a garden center.
  • Seedlings of cool-weather veggies: chard, kohlrabi, spinach and carrots
  • Strawberries! Do this in the first half of November to ensure the best harvest. Keep plants spaced one foot apart and plant in loose, rich soil that gets full sun.
  • Meadows! Choose a sunny spot and plant plugs of Carex pansa or C. praegracilis 6 to 12 inches apart. Toss in some California poppy seeds and add summer-blooming perennials every few feet or so. Choose yellow and red blanket flower (Gaillardia) and the taller, purple-flowering Verbena bonariensis.

You can continue planting other perennials, herbs, groundcovers, roses and trees & shrubs. This is the perfect time to plant shrubs with large flowers, such as grevilea, protea, leucadendron and ceanothus. November is the perfect time to transplant small trees and shrubs.

It’s also the time to get your orders in for bare-root trees, shrubs, roses and veggies for December planting.

More Maintenance


The cooling weather and returning rains mean you don’t need to water as much. As a matter of fact, shut off the system and only turn it on if the garden has gone without rain for more than two weeks. However, until the rains come, simply reset your system’s timer to water less frequently. Don’t change the duration of the watering session, though!

Many trees and shrubs only need water every week to week and a half; citrus trees only need to be watered once monthly.

If you’re using SMART irrigation technology such as weather based controllers and soil moisture sensors, your system will do the correct watering “only when needed” for you. If you’re still manually adjusting your timers, check out the latest in irrigation technology now.

Spraying for insect and diseases

Dormant spraying should be done each year to deciduous trees and shrubs which had insect infections or diseases the prior year.  This is very important for fruit trees and roses. For insect control, use a Spray Oil.  The oil will smother insect eggs that are over-wintering in the same places as fungal spores. You can mix this product together with a Copper Fungicide (Monterey® Liqui-Cop) for diseases too.

Dormant Oil should be sprayed on a clear day when there is little or no breeze. The ideal temperature for application is between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit; but ideally temperatures should remain over 50 degrees F. for at least twenty four hours in order to get the oil to spread out over the tree and cover all nooks and crevices. Complete coverage is required for effective control of all over-wintering pests. Apply this spray under pressure with a pump sprayer two times; once in late November and again in late January or early February before buds swell. The tree must be in the dormant stage! If you miss the window in November, you may be able to get by with one spray in late December / early January.  But twice is best, especially for large infestations. As always, read and follow the label prior to use.


If any of your fence posts are rotting, now is the time to replace them, before the winter winds begin. New posts should be set in concrete – one bag per post – making sure it extends one inch above the surface of the soil.

Landscaping Chores

  • Divide perennials, especially spring-blooming flowers. They’ll have time to establish themselves in their new location before the spring.
  • Fertilize your cool-season lawns – tall and dwarf fescue, for instance – with products made for fall. They should also have a pre-emergent herbicide.
  • Don’t fertilize warm-season lawns – Bermuda grass, for instance. They need to begin their winter dormancy.
  • While your roses may give you some of the best blooms in November, don’t feed them. This encourages them to enter dormancy for January and February.
  • Set out bait for snails and slugs, if you see them. Try Sluggo, which is organic.

Smart Pruning

Now is the time to cut ornamental grasses down to the ground if they’re showing signs of new growth. If they’re turning brown, tie them off about ten inches above the surface of the soil and cut them off just below the twine.

Prune dense or overly tall ornamental shrubs and trees. Get rid of crossing or dead branches and shape them, if desired.

Hydro-Scape carriers all the landscape supplies you need to maintain beautiful landscapes and fall gardens.