- Planting or Transplanting – Most hardy evergreen shrubs including Azalea, Camellias, and Roses can be successfully transplanted now through February. Leave as much of the original root ball as possible. Water regularly until the rains start. Plant Cotoneaster, Holly, Pyracantha, or Toyon shrubs for beautiful winter berries. This is the best time to plant California native plants such as Ceanothus, Salvia, Rhus, Mimulus, and many others. Finish preparing beds with compost for early spring plantings. This is an opportune time to plant ground covers. Divide, plant and deadhead perennials.
- Bedding Plants – Cut back all perennials. Clean beds and mulch cold tender plants. Replant color bowls, beds and borders with winter annuals such as Calendula, Dianthus, Pansy, Iceland Poppy, Primrose, Snapdragons, Stock and Violas. Cyclamen should now be starting to bloom, they are great for those shadier areas.
- Vegetables and Herbs – Plant Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Radish, Spinach, and Swiss Chard .
- Fruiting Plants – Spray Nectarine and Peach trees to combat Peach Leaf Curl as soon as most of the leaves have fallen and before the heavy rains, then again before the buds swell early next year. See our blog post on treating this disease.
- Roses – Discontinue watering and spraying. See our blog post on year-round rose care.
- Pests, Disease & Weed Control –Pull sprouted weeds now while they’re still small. Cultivate them and apply a pre-emergent weed preventer such as Amaze or Preen. Make sure there is no standing water anywhere as it is a breeding site for mosquitoes. Keep garden clean of debris which can harbor insect pests or diseases. Protect plants from snails and slugs by baiting or hand picking.
- Pruning - November can bring rain and wind. Opening up dense trees will allow winds to blow through the trees and minimize any damage. Cut back selected cane berry plants such as blackberry, boysenberry and spring-bearing raspberry. Wait until December or January for low-chill raspberry varieties.
Prepare for the Cool Season
- Clean and oil all tools to prevent rusting. Service those that need it. Check rain gutters for leaves and branches. It’s easier to clean gutters while they’re dry. With the first heavy rain, check drainage and make repairs as needed.
- Choose a Christmas tree early while there is a good selection. Plants make great Christmas gifts – they live for years, make any home more beautiful and increase home value.