The Neighborhood Gardener – November

Happy autumn, gardeners - a display of pumpkins on hay bales

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Making Vine Wreaths

wreathGrape vines can be a nuisance, especially when they’re smothering your favorite landscape plants. However, they're the perfect material for weaving wreaths. If you’d rather get creative with your bothersome vines instead of tossing them in your compost bin, then check out this new tutorial and video on making wreaths from grape vines.

Invasive Animals

The head of an invasive iguana in profileFlorida gardeners already deal with a plethora of invasive plants, but unfortunately we have animal invaders too. In fact, more species of reptiles and amphibians have invaded Florida than anywhere else worldwide. These invasive animals are causing issues for the environment, residents, and even the economy. This new article from Gardening Solutions features six invasive animals that are wreaking havoc on Florida.

Wendy's Wanderings

Wendy WilberLike many gardeners I enjoy raking, pruning, and tidying up the landscape as the days get cooler. It can be a good time to deadhead flowers and clean up perennial plants. In a Florida-Friendly landscape, the raked leaves and clippings have gone straight to the compost or brush pile. But as we learn more about the life cycles of many beneficial insects, we are changing our tune. Researchers are recommending that we leave the leaves and small branches in place to provide overwintering space for beneficial insects. What we should do with our fallen leaves.

Plant of the Month: Pecan

Foliage and fruit of the pecan treeDid you know that Florida produces five to ten million pounds of pecans annually? You can be part of that number by adding pecan trees to your landscape. Although it's not a low-maintenance tree, the reward of delicious nuts is enough to convince many gardeners to give pecan trees a go. Native to North America, pecan trees are recommended for planting in zones 5B through 9A in landscapes that are large enough to accommodate their massive size. Learn more about Carya illinoensis.

Growing Onions

onionsNovember is the perfect time to plant onions and shallots. Onions are classified as either short, mid, or long day, depending on how many hours of sunlight they need to produce a bulb. Look for short-day “sets” (small, starter bulbs) for success in Florida. Once planted, your onions should be ready to harvest in four to five months. Get planting advice for growing onions and shallots.

November in Your Garden

Freshly washed carrotsA long list of cool-season crops can be planted now including broccoli, onions, kale, and carrots. Depending on where you are in the state, add winter color with annuals like pansy, viola, impatiens, or cape daisy. Divide and replant overgrown perennials and bulbs now so that they establish before the cold weather arrives. Turn off irrigation systems and water only if needed; plants need less supplemental watering in cooler weather.

For more month-by-month gardening tips, check out the Florida Gardening Calendar. Three different editions of the calendar provide specific tips for each of Florida's gardening regions—North, Central, and South.

What's Going On?

If your Master Gardener Volunteer program or Extension office is having an event, be sure to share it with us.