Cooler November weather in Southern California makes it the ideal time to plant over a dozen varieties vegetables while also pruning trees for a healthier, fuller look in spring.
Plant A Cool Weather Garden: A fall vegetable garden can be just as rewarding as a summer garden. Vegetable seeds to plant in November include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, collards, endive, favas, Kale, lettuce, mustard, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, rutabaga, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips. Onion varieties that do well in cool weather are Grano, Granex, Imperial Sweet and Crystal Wax. The onion stalk with grow in winter with the bulb growing when the weather warms.
Strawberries in Winter: Check with your local nursery for available strawberry plants. Make sure the plants get plenty of sun and are located in well-draining soil, ideally in raised beds. Place them about one foot apart. Lay mulch around the plants to prevent weeds from sprouting after winter rains.
Break Up Perennials: Now is the time to divide and plant perennials so their offshoots will have time to establish themselves for spring flowers. Perennials can look unkempt with dead areas in the middle if they are not divided. They also produce fewer flowers when left to grow wild. Dig up the roots and divide them. Perennials are hardy plants and can withstand the trauma. Chrysanthemums can also be broken up and divided once they stop flowering and are trimmed back. They will flower again in March.
Prune Trees: Start pruning a tree by first removing dead or damaged branches. Remove smaller branches that are overlapping larger branches. Also remove stems that grow straight up from the trunk or large branches. Cut lower stems that grow from the base of the tree and any stems that appear to be growing next to the tree. When cutting healthy stems or branches, save branches that are growing the straightest and highest up the trunk Make pruning cuts as close to the trunk as possible. This helps the tree close the exposed area and reduces the chance of disease or attracting bugs. Never leave a portion of the cut stem or branch on the tree.
Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs: Plant spring-flowering bulbs that don’t require chilling throughout November. These bulbs include daffodils, grape hyacinth, Dutch Iris, ornamental onions, Spanish bluebells, ranuculus, gladiolus and freesias. Plant bulbs with the pointy end down in soil three times the depth of the bulb. Water right after planting. If we have a dry winter, water as needed.
Plant Native Plants and Wildflowers: November is the time to plant native plants and wildflowers. Although drought resistant, they will need water to help get started. Wildflowers include California poppies, larkspur, linaeria and gypsophila. California native plants that do well are Mariposa lily, California Morning Glory, White Bark California Lilac, California Juniper, California Evening Primrose, Purple Sage and California Holly.