Successive Sowing is one of my mantras - sow short maturity roots and shoots (herbs and greens) every 2-4 weeks through December/January for a continuous harvest of deliciousness!
Pictured October 1- rows - right - under cover sown September 19th - between covers garlic going in, second cover on left just seeded.
Do you really want to harvest 10 feet of carrots - all at once? The beauty of our desert climate is about 5, 6, or more months of growing in the cool times of the year.
Pictured - October 6th, garlic up in middle, radishes, carrots, leeks, and beets all growing on right (sown Sep 19th -- left rows sown Oct 1st, beets, radishes and carrots sprouting.
Check out my November Planting post from last year for two delicious soup recipes to use your greens and herbs.
Before I get to what to plant/sow, I wanted to share my applesauce recipe. I use organic apples and sugars.
My Homemade Applesauce
5 apples cored, NOT peeled, diced and chopped in processor
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon regular organic sugar
1/2 cup lemon water.
Squeeze 1 lemon, add a bit of juice to 1 1/2 cups water (lemon water)
Core (leave peels on) and quarter apples and place in lemon water
Drain, - saving 1/2 cup of lemon water, shred in processor
Add 1/2 cup lemon water, two sugars and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to pan and bring to boil
Add shredded apples and return to boil. Reduce, stirring frequently.
Cook down to desired consistency - can, refrigerate or freeze
This made 4 4ounce jars of applesauce. Yum!
October/November is the time to get your perennials IN THE GROUND. They may not look like they are doing much above ground, but the cooler weather enables strong and deep roots to get them ready for the hot times of the year.
Bay, Greek (Sweet)
Endive (and Chicory)
Garlic (only as green garlic)
EDIBLE FLOWERS TO PLANT:
Cornflower (Bachelor Buttons)
Jasmine Sambac (Arabian)
Marigolds, including Tangerine Scented (Tagetes Lemonii), Citrus Scented (Tagetes Nelsonii)
Sweet William (Dianthus)
GARDEN TIPS for November
First frost date average is around November 17th.
Frost in the Valley at the 1100 or lower elevations is usually limited to ‘soft frost’ where simple cloth sheets or paper placed over sensitive plants (or moving potted plants beneath patios or trees) is sufficient to protect them. Never use plastic covers as the plastic transmits the cold to the plant tips.
For every 1000 feet over 1100 in elevation the first frost day is moved forward 10 days. The possibility of hard (killing) frosts starts to occur, although at 2000 feet or lower this is still a rare occurrence.
Frost pockets in the Valley can surprise gardeners. As a matter of practice, if the weather forecasters predict an overnight temperature of 40 F, I prepare for frost by protecting my sensitive plants with cloth or paper covers This is because heat retention by buildings and walls dissipates by early morning (4 or 4:30 a.m. to dawn the temperature can drop 8 degrees plus or minus).
Frost danger continues until about mid-February.
Cool weather annuals and biennials can be sown every 2-4 weeks (beginning in August) through the end of November for a continuous crop through next spring.
November through January can be a ‘rainy’ season for the desert. You can usually hold off on regular watering if you have received a half inch or more of rain within 2 days of normal watering days. Make good use of your water meter to determine soil moisture.
If rains are heavy this month, in addition to foregoing some water days, you may need to put down Ironite or green sand to compensate for mineral bonding (which makes iron unavailable to the plants) due to both the excess water and the cold soil.
The best way to think of frost damage on your edibles is the damaged plant material is now a partial protective cover to the underlying growth.
As mentioned in prior notes, frost damage in the lower desert gardens is usually limited to 'soft' frost which is controlled by simply putting cloth or paper covers over the plants at night, or if containers, moving them under evergreen trees or onto the patio.
IF, however we get hard or killing frosts, of extended periods or days, die-back will occur even on protected plants. The reason is the radiant heat retained by structures and even the soil dissipates completely, leaving the plants exposed to too-cold air.
Whether the frost damage is from soft or hard frosts if the plant is still alive DO-NOT-REMOVE-THE-DAMAGE. Doing so risks damaging the growth still alive under the top die-back. I don't remove even dead plants until spring. I have found basil seedlings coming up under a large dead basil plant killed off by a hard frost.
Obviously we like our gardens to look pretty most of the time, but selectively resisting the urge to pull something a little bedraggled gives you, the gardener, access to earlier production of the warm weather plants because of their larger root systems.
I hope you have a wonderful time in the garden and kitchen, while enjoying our cooling temps.
Be kind to one another.
-- Catherine, The Herb Lady
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