As the chill in the air gets chillier, it’s easy to forget to visit the garden. Many people don’t think of November as the season for gardening, but there’s always something to do or harvest in the garden.
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We focused on harvesting, maintaining active gardens, putting inactive gardens to bed for the season, and planting garlic and fruit crops in October. This month includes many of the same activities: harvesting, preparing the garden for winter, sowing garlic, and planting fruit plants. Following are some ideas for prioritizing what to do in the garden in November.
Remember, these November garden tasks are based on my gardening in USDA hardiness zone 6b. You may need to make adjustments for your climate.
1. November Harvest
The growing season is coming to an end (or may be over depending on where you live) so I always harvest and process first before doing anything else in the garden.
Harvesting Cool Weather Crops in November
- Beets & beet greens (Here are my tips for harvesting beets plus a ton of beet recipes)
- Turnips (Greens are super tasty, too)
- Swiss chard
Harvesting Warm Weather Crops in November
- Dried (Soup) Beans
- Sweet potatoes (Here’s how to harvest, cure, and store sweet potatoes)
Harvesting Herbs in November
- Rosemary (Learn how to keep your potted rosemary alive over the winter)
- Thyme (Here are a few suggestions for using thyme)
Harvesting Perennial Crops in November
- Pawpaws (Asimina triloba)
- Strawberries (everbearing)
Grow a garden that’s both productive and manageable with my Complete Garden Planning System, which includes practical tools for planning your season from seed to harvest.
2. November Garden Maintenance
Here are the things I do in my garden to put the garden to bed and prepare for the winter months.
- Cut spent flowers, or leave seed heads to feed the birds through the winter.
- Leave vegetable flowers for bees, then save the seed. Here are some other fall flowers I grow for the bees.
- Put (non-diseased) dead plant matter in the compost. Cut plants at the base and leave their roots intact.
- Remove diseased plant matter and dispose in garbage.
- Mulch beds. Here are some mulching tips.
- Add soil amendments to inactive gardens with a digging fork. It’s the perfect time of year to improve soil.
Extending the Season
Set up a cold frame for fall and overwintering crops. Here are some cold frame tips.
- Cut back herbs and use them as fertilizer. Here’s how I use comfrey and the Herbal Academy shares how to fertilize with other herbs.
- Collect and save herb, flower, and vegetable seeds. Here’s how I save cilantro seeds and here are my tips for collecting calendula seed heads.
- Be sure to store your seeds properly.
3. November Planting
Once my garden is under control, then I plant for the future! Don’t forget I’m gardening in USDA hardiness zone 6b – you may need to make adjustments for your climate.
Sowing Outside in November
- Garlic (Chesnok Red hardneck variety is one of my favorites)
Planting Outside in November
- Berry bushes (Plant aronia shrubs and grow your own superfood!)
- Fruit trees (Here are my fruit tree planting tips)
- Rhubarb (Try a beautiful red rhubarb)
Are you harvesting lots of good stuff this fall or are you putting the garden to bed?