Garden Tips For November: Slow Down and Prepare the Garden for Winter

By November 16, 2017Garden Tips

Make sure all your frost-tender crops have been harvested and your hardy greens are mulched and covered with floating row cover.  We like to use our Reemay® blanket or other heavy duty spun polyester row cover because it doesn’t require venting.  Sow an edible cover of mustard, turnips, and kale in some areas.  Finish up sowing all cover crops by early November.  Get a soil test and spread lime or gypsum as needed by mid-November.

After the first hard frost harvest, move winter squash, if you haven’t finished already, to a protected location outside to cure for 2 weeks, then into a cool, dry location for storage.  Finish harvesting your carrots (hardy to 12°F), beets, celeriac, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabagas (OK to 20°F), winter radish (hardy to 20°F).  Wash and store in perforated plastic bags in fridge.  Mulch heavily any remaining carrots and beets you plan to keep in the garden for extended winter eating.

Finish curing sweet potatoes then store in boxes in a space as near to 55-60°F and 80-90% humidity as possible.  Check white potatoes in storage 2 weeks after harvest, then check monthly.  Sort and remove any damaged potatoes.  Our Sweet Potato Growing Guide will help you plan this delicious, easy-storing crop into your garden plan for next year

Winterize your rototiller.  Remove and store any remaining irrigation tape, fixtures, and hoses.  Check for any tomato cages or trellises you may have left in the garden.  Clean, oil, and securely store garden tools.

Sow more spinach and kale for spring harvest in early November if not already done.

When soil temperature at 4-inches deep is 50°F, plant garlic and mulch immediately, but not too thickly.  Free trapped garlic shoots from over-thick mulch when 50% have emerged.  Plant yellow potato onions, shallots, Egyptian onion, and garlic by mid-November.  Check the temperature of your garlic storage area and move it to a different location if necessary.  Always store garlic below 40°F or above 50°F – storage temperature between 40°F and 50°F initiates sprouting.  Download our 4 page Garlic and Perennial Onion Growing Guide for more details.