With Halloween over we are coming into cooler weather and the full holiday season. Not only are there plenty of opportunities to work in the Los Angeles garden, but November is one month when taking a little time to relax in the garden can offer real relief from holiday stress. Being out in nature is a wonderful, natural and free way to give your mind and body a break from pressures. When you are feeling energetic, here are some garden projects you can work on this month.
- Plant more cool season edibles. Continue to plant onion and garlic sets and other winter crops like peas, cabbage, broccoli, Swiss chard and Chinese greens.
- Spend cool, windy or rainy days in Los Angeles – if we get them – surfing seed and plant catalogs in print or online. Check out all the fun new introductions and consider experimenting with some plant varieties you've never tried.
- Consider developing an unused piece of your property or renovating an existing part of the garden. November is a perfect time of the year to plan and build in your landscape design. The weather is cooler for working and professional help is more readily available than during the spring rush.
- Plant hardy plants and native flower seed. Scatter wildflower seeds just before predicted rains so they will get a good start before the wildlife gobbles them up. Toss out seeds in successive plantings to extend the Southern California flowering season come early spring.
- Winterize water features. Feed fish in ponds with winter food and stop feeding them altogether when water temperatures fall below 50'F. Remove delicate water plants to a frost-free location if frost can be a problem in your area. And empty all pipes in fountains and waterfalls where there is any chance of frost. Water expands when it turns to ice and can crack plumbing.
- Weather can cause problems all over Los Angeles County with wind or rain. Keep your landscape clean of blowing refuse to avoid breeding pests and building up material that could ignite should you live where wildfires could threaten. Prune trees to make them more stable and healthy.
- If you haven’t already reduced your watering schedule, do so now. Short days and cooling temperatures make plants less thirsty. You can also save money by setting up rain barrels or other water collection tubs to reuse rainwater in the garden during dry periods. This is also a good time to think about replacing water-thirsty lawns with more decorative, easier-care drought-resistant gardens.
- Have fun decorating your landscape for the holidays, but keep safety in mind at all times.
And, once again, remember to take some time out to enjoy and relax in your Los Angeles garden during the busy month of November!