Leucanthemum paludosum 'Snowland'. Blooms all winter in Zone 9!
Tasks To Do
Pruning -When Dahlias die back cut stems off at ground level. If your garden has good winter drainage, you can leave Dahlia tubers in the ground but if your garden soil holds water in winter, it's best to lift the tubers to avoid them rotting. Dig tubers and brush off soil (avoid getting them wet). If needed, use permanent maker to write the flower color on the tuber. Store tubers in a cool, dark and dry place.Prune out suckers from Corylus avellana 'Contorta' (Harry Lauder's Walking Stick).
Pest Management- Rats can be a real problem in the home and garden. Now is a good time to check that your house is sealed from rats entering and hiding under the house or in the attic. Rats can chew on plant foliage and stems so badly that the plants cannot recover. Also, trim back tree branches that provide easy access for rats to get to the roof of buildings. Continue to bait or handpick slugs, snails, sowbugs, and earwigs, especially around new plantings . Clean upfallen fruit and old fruit from fruit trees (see Nov 2019 for photo of fruit mummy). Keeping fruiting plants cleaned up helps to prevent mold on old fruit and also deters rodents, raccoons, and pest insects.
Irrigation- Look to see which plants are under eaves and remember to water them during winter when the automatic irrigation system is off. In general, dehydrated plants are hit harder by frost and rainwater rarely reaches the plants under eaves enough to penetrate the soil.
Bulbs - Now that temperatures have cooled down here in Sonoma County, Zone 9, it's time to plant spring blooming bulbs! Add a little bone meal in the bottom of the planting hole. Mix the bone meal and cover with some soil, then plant the bulb. Filling containers with bulbs makes a beautiful display in springtime. Containers can be placed in garden beds just before blooming and taken away to die back in the container out of sight.
Garlic- November in Sonoma County is time to plant the garlic purchased in October while the supplies were good. Garlic like deeply dug, well draining soil. Once planted, if rain has not started yet, water garlic once the tips start to come up. While garlic is growing regular water from rain or the hose is important but towards the end of the garlic season irrigation stops so the bulbs can start to dry out underground. Learn how to install inline drip with a shut off valve that makes watering garlic easier.
Fallen Leaves, To rake or not rake- If you have areas where not much is growing in winter, you can let fallen leaves decompose on the ground. If you have winter color plants, such as Pansies, Iceland Poppies, Cyclamen and others, rake up the fallen leaves in these planting beds as the layer of leaves is a great place for pest insects to hide.
Harvest pomegranates when ripe and before rains (rain makes the fruit split). Pomegranates are ripe when they reach full color and are heavy for their size. When in doubt about ripeness, cut a fruit open and taste it. Pomegranates can be kept in the refrigerator for months! Even if they split the fruit can still be eaten and juiced. Harvest split fruits before they start to mold.
Yellow, fragrant flowers of Freesia with 'Snowland' in the background.