November is a great month to get outdoors and garden!

If you missed the prime October planting period, you can still continue fall planting programs, although plants will establish slower with cooler temperatures.

Here are other things to keep track of in your garden:

  • Dead-head pansies, stock, calendulas, petunias and roses
  • Citrus fruits are beginning to change color but that doesn’t mean the fruit is ripe. Tangerines navel oranges and lemons may be ready to eat. Sweet oranges won’t be ready until March. Grapefruits, although yellow, won’t be at their best until April or May. Don’t prune or thin citrus until spring
  • If you’ve sown winter vegetables directly in the garden, it’s time to thin the seedlings.
  • Bring tender container plants under shelter to protect from cold temperatures.
  • Chrysanthemums are in their prime. Cut flowers to use for bouquets. This helps flowering branches from drooping too much.
  • Through December, water-efficient Texas rangers are in bloom, and it’s a good time to buy them at your nursery.
  • Roses in many areas will enter winter dormancy even though they may continue to bloom until severe frost. Keep beds moist. Don’t prune until late January or early February.
  • Red bird of paradise will be dormant about now. Cut back stems to 18 inches above the ground.
  • Many established perennials such as rudbeckia and gaillardia that flower from summer into fall have finished their bloom cycle. Cut back to basal growth and clean up leaf debris.

Sources: Lush & Efficient Gardening in the Coachella Valley, by Coachella Valley Water District; The Desert Gardeners Calendar, by George Brookbank

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