The November Garden
The Fall garden is well under way and you will be soon be harvesting the best tasting vegetables you’ve ever grown. Broccoli will put out one large head that should be cut off with a sharp knife. Leave the plant in the ground and continue to fertilize because you will get several smaller side buds that can be harvested later. Lettuce, Swiss chard, kale and other greens should be snipped off as needed and will continue to produce.
You can still put in transplants of lettuce, arugula, spinach, Asian greens, mustard greens, beets and strawberries in now. Seeds of lettuce, radish, spinach, mustard greens and other things can also be sown now. Cabbage worms and loopers can decimate cruciferous vegetable plants (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables) in almost no time. They can be controlled by handpicking or spraying or dusting with BT (Bacillus thuringiensis).
Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Parsley and all of the perennial herbs can also be planted now. Perennial herbs include oregano, lavender, rosemary, chives, thyme, Mexican mint marigold and others.
If your tomato plants are still producing, continue to fertilize them. When the temperatures dip down into the mid 30’s you can harvest the tomatoes and leave them on a windowsill to ripen or use them for fried green tomatoes. Peppers can also be harvested for use or frozen to use later.
If you’re not using the entire garden for cool season crops you may want to plant a cover crop, such as crimson clover. Cover crops are sometimes referred to as “green manure” because they add organic matter to the soil. They are an excellent way to build your soil and choke out weeds at the same time. Crimson clover and other legume cover crops add much needed nitrogen to the soil. In the spring, they can be cut down and turned into the soil. Vegetable garden soil should never be left fallow (nothing growing in them) but if you choose not to grow a cover crop, mulch the soil heavily for the remainder of the winter.
The cooler weather is coming and you may need to protect some of your plants. Deep watering and the use of liquid seaweed will help the roots of your plants protect themselves from the cold. Floating row cover is an easy, inexpensive way to do just that. It is a lightweight woven fabric that is designed to insulate your crops and protect them from damaging frosts. The row cover, along with a good layer of mulch is an excellent way to keep soil temperature warmer and add that needed protection from the cold.