November 2013 Gardening Calendar
This is an occasional column available to all users. Watch for Calvin Finch's weekly column, South Texas Gardener, every week in the Wilson County News. Subscribe today! https://wilsoncountynews.com/subscribe-today.php?
November is the best month to plant pansies, cyclamen and primula. All these winter annuals do a great job providing color in the winter landscape, but they are also more sensitive than snapdragons and stocks to warm spells that often occur earlier in the fall.
Pansies are available in yellow, white, brown, blue, orange and violet. There are a number of varieties of pansies. The Majestic Giants have large flowers (silver-dollar size) and a center blotch which is often called a monkey-face. The clear face selections usually have smaller flowers.
Plant pansies in full sun if possible, but they will perform pretty well in the morning or the afternoon sun.
Cyclamen are the most spectacular winter blooming plant. The flowers are orchid-like in pure, deep shades of white, pink, red and lavender. In addition to the flowers, the leaves are also decorative. They are heart-shaped, thick and leathery with etching on the edges.
The only problem with cyclamen is their price. Expect to pay $6/plant in November. They are worth it. Grow cyclamen in the shade.
Primula is another shade-loving flower. There are two selections that generally appear on the market. The showiest are low growing (pansy-like) with crinkly Kelly green foliage. As decorative as the leaves are, the flowers are even showier. The blooms are red, blue, white, yellow, purple, orange and pink. The colors of the flowers remind me of Crayola crayons or even clown grease paint. Check them out.
The other primula that is sold for winter color is an upright plant that can grow up to 12 or 14 inches tall. The leaves are normally dull green and the flowers are pastel colors, usually pink, blue or white.
Primulas are a favorite slug and snail food. Spread the bait at the same time you plant them or they will be devoured.
In the vegetable garden, November is a good month to plant spinach. This year try the “Monster” transplants. It is an old variety with large leaves that supposedly is sweeter than hybrid spinach varieties and grows faster.
Be prepared to cover the tomatoes if a freeze is forecast. The new “plankets” work well for protection. Tomatoes are slow this year because of the heat we had in September. Protection from the first cold spell will give them a few more weeks to mature.
November is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. The cool weather allows the newly planted items to develop a root system before the hot weather of summer challenges them.
If you haven’t planted your wildflowers, get them in the ground as quick as possible. Most mixes and varieties require full sun to prosper. They must also be planted on a site where the seed can reach the soil. Planting in sod or brushy areas does not usually work. Do not cover the seed. Most gardeners rely on natural rain fall to water the seed.
Fertilize the lawn with “winterizer” fertilizer early in the month. The nutrients contribute to cold-weather tolerance and help with a fast green-up in the spring.
It is also a good time to divide spring blooming perennials. Iris, daylilies, Shasta daisies, German carnations and phlox are in that category.
Calvin Finch Ph.D. is a Horticulturist and Director with the Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post comments:
Other Agriculture Today
| Agricultural grant webinar Feb. 3 (January 28, 2015)
Cotton harvest delayed by wet weather (January 28, 2015)
Delegates set 2015 public policy positions (January 28, 2015)
Don’t be overcome by sandburs (January 28, 2015)
Farm Aid organizes Texas summit in SA (January 28, 2015)
Farmer featured in ‘Farmland’ documentary... (January 28, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (January 28, 2015)
It's showtime — Wilson County Junior Livestock Show (January 28, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (January 28, 2015)
TDA Market Report (January 28, 2015)
30th annual All Breed Bull, Female Sale set... (January 21, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (January 21, 2015)
Hill Country District show continues (January 21, 2015)
Identify this mystery plant — week 2 (January 21, 2015)
La Vernia stock show news (January 21, 2015)
Livestock market reports (January 21, 2015)
Mineral rights workshop is Jan. 28 (January 21, 2015)
Speed up decomposing process (January 21, 2015)
TDA Market Report (January 21, 2015)
Wilson County Junior Livestock Show (January 21, 2015)
Wilson County show under way (January 21, 2015)
Ag Conference Jan. 28 (January 14, 2015)
Atascosa County show continues (January 14, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (January 14, 2015)
How do cemetery, Dutch iris differ? (January 14, 2015)
Karnes County Youth Show is Jan. 15-17 (January 14, 2015)
Kickin’ off 2015 stock-show season (January 14, 2015)
Livestock market reports (January 14, 2015)
Program builds foundation for youth (January 14, 2015)
TDA Market Report (January 14, 2015)
TSCRA prepares for legislative session (January 14, 2015)
Wilson County horse show Jan. 17 (January 14, 2015)
2014 A banner year for area youth (January 7, 2015)
Bermuda best seeded after April (January 7, 2015)
Cattleman Bull & Female Sale is Jan. 24 (January 7, 2015)
Fearless ag predictions for 2015 (January 7, 2015)
Fever tick update in South Texas (January 7, 2015)
Tractor Supply, 4-H Council raise $763K (January 7, 2015)
January 2015 Gardening Calendar (January 1, 2015)