Is it really November?
Is it really November?
Gorgeous days make me wonder what season I am in, then I am reminded as it starts getting dark by 6.
Remember many plants especially vegetables are affected by the length of the day as much as the temperature. Which is why you have to plant your fall garden so early. Even though the weather is lovely, not much vegetable wise wants to start growing right now. The only vegetables I would still be sticking in the ground if you haven’t already are fava beans and garlic, but do it now! It is a great time to plant wildflowers for a wonderful spring bloom. The trick to wild flowers is clearing the area so the seed hit bare ground and then protecting them from being eaten by birds by covering them with a bit of agricultural fabric (though it is not always needed). I always love doing a bed of crimson clover flower- as a legume it feeds the soil but it also gives you that amazing spring bloom.
I always move my focus to the perennials in my garden this time of year. It is good time to divide perennials that have taken up too much room, you can replant them elsewhere in the garden or share them with neighbors. It is also the time of year that is best for any relocation of perennial plants, the moist soils and cooler temperatures help with transplant shock. With perennial herbs and most flowers I wait til the plants look shabby and then give them a serious pruning.
I mentioned this last year, but if you have dreams of burying your lawn this is the time to do it, so you can plant right into it in the spring. Sheet mulch is the amazingly simple job of laying down thick cardboard over the grass and covering it with a thick layer of straw or woodchips. I often will put some mineral amendments like oyster shell lime, bone meal and rock dust under the mulch so it works its way into the soil. If you have some compost you can put it down under the cardboard also. By spring the grass should be dead and you can cut holes in the mulch, at this point it is so soft you can just push back the mulch and plant directly in the ground.
I like to think of what lovely little flowers I want to greet me in the early spring. It is a good time to plant poppies, sweet peas, nigella, and of course bulbs- daffodils, tulips, fressia and others.
You can get onion starts and sets at the nursery these days, Over wintering onions have been tricky for me. I get good ones some years and other years they all bolt. I sometimes think it has to do with the warm cold warm cold that we have all winter long. I think the onions get confused and don’t know if they have gone through one or two seasons. I have usually gone with starts as they are a bit more economical, but I have friends that swear by onion sets. I wish I could tell you the tricks to onions but I think of all the vegetables this one I still don’t fully understand. I don’t plant overwintering onions but I know lots of people who do. I also think it is too late to plant but the nurseries seem to think that you can. If you have luck with planting onions this time of year, do let me know your tricks.
Seems like black aphids are still munching on the chives and a few other things these days. With the black aphids on chives I have resorted to cutting them to the ground and then regularly spraying them with a soap spray. You can also dislodge them from the plants by spraying them off with a hard spray also. I had a big patch of chives that had been in the same spot for a while and also had bad aphids, I was able to control the aphids as stated above and this winter I am going to move them to a new area with well amended soil. I think they were susceptible because they had used up all the nutrients where they were and were burnt out.
Hope your Thanksgiving feast is full of food from your garden!