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November Gardening Tips

Garden Maintenance

  • Prune and clean up for fire prevention.
  • Oil and sharpen tools.  Sand handles.  Either varnish or spray paint handles to make them easy to find in the garden.
  • Pull summer annuals and vegetables.
  • Prune dead and broken branches on trees and shrubs.
  • Rake and compost leaves and plant materials.  Dispose of diseased materials.
  • Water plants that rains cannot reach.
  • Remove the bands of corrugated cardboard used to trap codling moth larvae from around apple tree trunks and dispose of them.
  • Apply mulch.
  • Remove “mummies” from fruit trees after.


  • Feed the cool-season flowers and veggies you planted last month.
  • Fertilize and irrigate peach trees just after harvest.

Spray: Check the California Backyard Orchard website for current information.

  • Spray stone fruit trees for leaf curl, shot hole fungus and pseudomonas canker before first heavy rain; use fixed copper.

What to Plant in November

Trees, shrubs, perennials

  • November is the best months to plant trees and shrubs.
  • Root evergreen cuttings:  boxwood, English ivy, holly, juniper, yew.


  • Direct seed wildflowers.
  • Plant the bulbs you have chilling in the refrigerator.  tulips, narcissus, daffodil, and hyacinths.  Set some in pots for winter forcing.
  • Plant corms: crocus, gladiolus, tuberous begonias.
  • Plant tubers: dahlias, begonias, caladiums, and anemones.
  • Plant even more spring-blooming flowers such as sweet peas, clarkia, calendula, and California poppy.
  • Last chance to set out cool-weather annuals.
  • Below 2000’: garlic cloves, Jerusalem artichoke.  Seeds for mustard, onion, parsley, radish, Savoy spinach, cover crops


  • Plant onions, garlic, artichokes and asparagus before frost.
  • Direct seed bok choy, spinach, peas, mustard, and radishes.
  • Plant bare-root artichokes now through March.
  • At warmer elevations, plant potatoes now through March.


  • Think about reducing the size of, or removing, your lawn to conserve resources.

Cover Crops

  • Seed for erosion control on slopes.
  • Plant clover or fava beans to improve soil structure in your vegetable garden.