By Lori Murray, Cameron County Master Gardener, Texas Superstar Specialist
Orchids, this month’s flower, are symbolic of luxury, beauty, and even royalty, while the chrysanthemum is characterized by optimism. In some Easter cultures, its petals have been said to represent perfection.
As the sun moves around this time of year, the light in your garden changes. That makes this a good time to pay attention and make a note in your gardening journal for future planting. This is also a good time to fill in low spots in your yard.
(Consider planting some narcissus bulbs in gravel and having them inside for a December treat – even if it’s not your birthday!)
POINSETTIAS: Darkness at night is no longer required around the last week of November when you should see the tiny green and yellow flower buds inside the bracts. Continue to water and fertilize.
PLANT: Trees, Shrubs, Roses, and Bulbs. Plant Bluebonnet seeds around Thanksgiving.
Cool weather vegetables (if you can cover them when necessary) broccoli, Brussell sprouts, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, kale, mustard, onions, Swiss chard, turnips, tomatoes
Flower such as impatiens, geranium, petunias, dianthus, pansies, and other bedding plants
Herbs: anise, basil, cilantro, dill, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, Mexican mint marigold, oregano
OTHER THINGS TO DO:
Collect leaves from shedding trees and bushes and compost them
Mulch beds for cold weather protection
Begin paying attention to weather reports for possible freeze or frost warnings
Fertilize lawns unless it was done in October
At the end of the month, buy poinsettias and Christmas cactus for December bloom
Think about what you want to do to improve your yard. Choose one or two parts of your landscape and focus on what could be done there: plant cutting flowers, plant for color, use annuals, perennials, bulbs, bedding plants, plant nasturtium seeds or bluebonnets for spring? Even just clean the area up?
Look at your soil. Does it need amendments like compost? Do you need more soil in places? Should you consider a raised bed? If so, where?
Sketch your hardscape on graph paper. Know where you want paths, patio, walls and fences, possible beds. Think about how much sun areas receive so you can choose the appropriate plants. (When you’re planning, remember that plants tend to grow faster and larger in our area.)