by Matt Gibson
For the vast majority of gardeners, November marks the end of the growing season. At this point in the year, gardening tasks have slowed to a crawl. Sure, there are probably a few crops left to harvest, and possibly a couple of potted plants that are still on the patio that need to be pulled inside for protection, but for the most part, your work is done, right? Well, this line of thinking is incorrect, especially if you don’t mind moving a large part of your growing operations indoors.
November is a great time for sowing a large selection of seeds that can use the freezing cold environment for stratification. November is also a great time for planting cover crops, amending and rejuvenating your garden beds (as long as the ground isn’t too hard to till), preserve tender roots and bulbs, So don’t pack up your tools and gardening gloves just yet, you’ve got plenty of tasks to keep yourself busy
Can I Plant Anything In November?
Yes you can, and yes you should! Just because the weather is getting a little colder and the days are becoming a little shorter doesn’t mean that you should pack up all of your gardening gear. The fall season can produce an abundance of beautiful flowers and tasty veggies. Upcoming sections in this very article will tell you about which vegetables, flowers, and perennials should be sown during the month of November. We also list a sizeable to-do list of other gardening tasks that can be completed before turkey, dressing, and cranberry is served. Extra time spent in the yard should give any gardener a lot to be thankful for.
What Vegetables Can I Plant In November?
Onions – Prefers full sunlight and well draining soil. Sow seeds indoors about six weeks before moving to garden beds. Bury sets or transplants no more than one inch beneath the soil, spaced four to five inches apart in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches apart.
Collards – Needs rich well drained soil and full sunlight. Plant seeds around 80 days before the first expected frost in your area. Seed heavily and then thin to about 18 inches apart.
Kale – Requires rich well drained soil and full sunlightPlant kale in mid to late summer, harvesting throughout the fall until the ground starts to freeze in the winter. Use one and a half cups of 5-10-10 fertilizer for every 25 feet of rows, mixing into the top three to four inches of the soil.
Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi likes full sun and rich, well-drained soil. Can be harvested in the fall in cool climate areas and in the winter in warm climate areas. Sow seeds in midsummer for a fall harvest and sow in the fall for a winter harvest.
Asparagus – Plant in the fall when temperatures are cool after adding compost and organic fertilizer to the soil. Do not cover any of the foliage. Place in full sun in rich well-draining soil.
Carrots – Sow 3 weeks before the last expected frost in your area. Most varieties take 70 to 80 days for full maturation, so allow three months before the first expected frost. Carrots need full sun and rich, well-draining soil.
Parsnips – Parsnips require loose, fertile soil that is free of stones, debris, and compacted soil clods, as well as a pH balance between six and seven. Parsnips enjoy full sunlight to partial shade. Plant in a location that gets plenty of sunlight.
Garlic – Garlic plants enjoy full sun and loamy soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. In warmer climate areas, plant in early spring for a fall harvest.
Spinach – Plant spinach eight weeks before the first frost date for an autumn harvest. Seeds can be planted from September until the ground freezes. The later in the season you grow it, the better it will taste. Spinach likes full sunlight to partial shade in the afternoons, and rich, well-draining soil.
Beets – Sow beet seeds directly in your garden beds eight to ten weeks before the first expected frost in your area. Fall beets have higher sugar content and brighter colors. Beets need full sunlight and well-draining soil.
Radishes – Plant radishes every two weeks for a consistent supply, from late August until the deep cold comes through. Do not fertilize the soil for radishes, but provide a steady amount of water to prevent cracking. Radishes prefer full sun and loose, well-draining soil.
Chard – Depending on your zone, plant swiss chard between mid-July to mid-August for a fall harvest. Chard requires full sunlight and well-draining soil that is rich in organic material.
Scallions – Sow directly into the garden in the early spring for a fall harvest. Select a location where onions were not planted in the previous one to two growing seasons. Work a balanced fertilizer into the soil before planting. Scallions need full sunlight and well-draining soil with a pH between six and seven.
Parsley – Parsley requires full sunlight and afternoon shade in warmer climate areas and a rich, compost heavy soil and consistent moisture.
Rutabaga – Sow rutabaga seeds one half inch deep in the soil three months before the first expected frost. Thin down to six inches apart and 18 inch-spaced rows. Rutabaga enjoys full sunlight and rich, well-drained soil.
Cabbage – Fall cabbage should be planted six to eight weeks before the first expected frost. Plant in rich, well-drained soil in a location that gets plenty of sunlight. Fall harvested cabbage is sweeter than spring and summer harvested cabbage.
Lettuce – Plant lettuce in the late summer for fall harvesting. Lettuce thrives in full sunlight in rich, well-drained soil. Sow lettuce seeds every two weeks through September.
What Flowers Can I Plant In November?
Chrysanthemums – Plant your mums in late spring for beautiful fall blooms and overwinter them indoors or in a greenhouse.
Eryngiums – These bee-friendly perennials require a cold period to germinate. Overwinter indoors or use a greenhouse or cold frame.
Bugle – Plant in full sun or partial shade for a groundcover with evergreen color.
Cosmos – Plant cosmos in full sun and loamy, well-drained neutral to slightly acidic soil.
Sweet peas – Sweet peas can be grown in autumn or spring in full sunlight to partial shade. Sweet peas require a rich, well-drained soil in the neutral pH range.
Corydalis solida – Prefers a cool, moist location with dappled or partial shade. Blooms vary in color from purple to white.
Asters – These daisy-like perennials begin to bloom in the early fall. Available in a wide range of sizes and colors.
Calendula – Also known as the pot marigold, calendula has valuable medicinal properties. Plant in full sunlight in rich, loose, well-draining soil.
What Can I Do In The Garden In November?
- Clean and oil your gardening tools and sharpen or replace blades of pruners, knives, hedge trimmers, etc.
- Bring in all of your potted plants that are not frost hardy.
- Plant seeds and bulbs for spring blooming (Be careful not to overwater bulbs, especially just before frosts).
- Trim back and protect rose bushes.
- Work on soil preparation by adding in lots of organic materials, compost, and other nutrients (As long as you can drive a spade into the soil, the soil is workable, if the ground is frozen, wait until it starts to thaw in late winter or early spring).
- Dig up root crops that are still in your garden beds (Though many root veggies improve in flavor after multiple frosts, once the soil freezes, it becomes incredibly hard to dig into to rescue your subterranean produce).
- Plant cold hardy crops (Mulch heavily to protect seedlings as they start to sprout. Usually, the seedlings will get a head start, other times, sprouts won’t shoot up until the beginning of spring.
- Water trees as much as possible before the ground freezes to give them plenty of nourishment before the long cold winter that they’re up against.
- Plant cover crops to help replenish nutrients in the soil and keep weeds from invading your garden beds.
Want to learn more about gardening in November?
American Meadows covers 10 Perennials for Fall Planting
Flip Flop Ranch covers 25 Veggies to Plant in Fall
Gardeners’ World covers Flowers to Sow in November
HGTV covers November Gardening Tips
Planet Natural covers November Gardening
Thompson & Morgan covers What to Grow in November
Urban Farmer covers Planting in November