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November 2018 Gardening Tips - Popies and Pansies
Garlic Planted in November for Harvest in June



    Have you looked at your gardening tools lately? This may be a good time to take a few minutes and survey your tool stash. Toss the tools that are broken beyond repair and clean up the rest of your tools to get them in good working condition. There’s nothing like using the right tool for the job. There are two tools that I cannot do without; one is my short handled military shovel (from a surplus store) and the other is my spading fork with flat tines. Watch our Tool video for helpful tips on choosing the best tools. If you have ever used the wrong size lopper when the job called for using a pruning saw instead, you know having the right tool makes the job easier on you, the tool, and the plant.

    If you have hand pruners consider buying a leather holster to hold your pruners on your side while gardening. People often toss their pruners on the soil. Here are a few reasons why this is not the best practice: soil can have disease pathogens (like fungal spores) on it and each time the pruners land on the soil there is a good chance these pathogens can take a ride onto the next plant you prune thereby spreading the disease; the constant impact with the ground is hard on the tool; it is easy to lose your pruner. Gardening is more pleasurable when your most used tool is right at your side.

    There are various styles of holsters for pruners. A favorite style has a pocket for a sharpener and a choice of sliding it onto a belt or clipping it to a pant pocket. To avoid getting a repetitive use shoulder injury, use the clip on your pocket and not the attach to your belt. Also, clipping the holster onto a pocket means it quickly comes off at the end of the day.

    The best advice when looking for tools is to purchase the best quality tools (not necessarily the largest) that you can afford. For tips about caring for your tools see January Tips.

    Feel free to contact Mary to see what tips she may have to help you choose the best tool. Even better, make an appointment and take The Gardening Tutor with you as your personal shopper so that the two of you can look over the tools together.

    November 2018
    Gardening Checklist*
    What to SHOP for . . .
    Checkbox Annuals - Calendula, Iceland Poppies, Primrose (used as annual).
    Checkbox Perennials/Shrubs - Chrysanthemums, Penstemon ‘Midnight’ Japanese Anemone, Hydrangea quercifolia (great fall color).
    Checkbox Evergreen Shrubs (frost hardy) - Myrsine africana (African Boxwood) Myrtle, Photinia, Escallonia.
    Checkbox Bulbs - Alliums (ornamental onions), Scilla peruviana, Freesia.
    Checkbox Veggies - Garlic (plant first part of month), Spinach
    Checkbox Seeds - Sweet Peas, Larkspur.
    Tasks to do . . .
    Checkbox Bulbs - The bulbs purchased last month can be planted this month. When buying bulbs this month be extra careful to purchase the best looking bulbs that are heavy for their size. If you love garlic from your summer garden plant the cloves now.
    Checkbox Sweet Peas - These darlings of the garden are cool-season annuals that are planted in winter. Seeds can be sown or six pack size plants can be planted later in the month. Protect from cutworms, earwigs, snails, slugs and other pests. Sweet peas prefer yummy, well draining soil. Provide trellis' for their tendrils to attach to (the tendrils attach best to thin wire trellis).
    Checkbox Pruning - Continue to deadhead (remove the spent flowers and the flower stem) Pansies and Iceland Poppies to encourage the plants to bloom all winter here in Zone 9.
    Checkbox Pest Management - Snails, slugs, earwigs, and sowbugs want the tender plants in the garden. Continue to bait for these destructive pests. Also, clean up leaves from planting beds that have winter bloomers and bulbs as these pests hide in the leaves. If you have a deciduous plant that gets powdery mildew or other fungus every year, even though it is planted in the best environment, plan to spray while the plant is dormant. Remember to spray the entire plant to saturation and the soil under and around the plant too. One spray is usually not enough so plan to spray twice or even three different times.
    Checkbox Primroses and Cyclamen - Each of these plants can grow in full sun during the winter but not once temperatures heat up in spring. The good news is they each transplant well so you can plan to move them to dappled shade for the hot part of the year.
    Free printable . . .
      Looking for a way to stay organized in your garden?
    Download this Free Printable Gardening Checklist* and you’ll be amazed how inspired you’ll feel!
    Let us know how you’re doing. You can do it!
    Remember, this printable was created as a short list of tasks with minimal information. If you would like more in-depth information,
    you can always refer back to the checklist above each month for more details.

    The Gardening Tutor September 2018 Printable

    *Colors may vary depending upon your computer screen and printer.

*For More Detailed Gardening Tips
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