Fall Gardening: November Garden Checklist Zones 9-11

Milder temperatures have become more prominent in Zones 9-11, but that hasn’t stopped the growth and production in most November warm-climate gardens. Keep your garden thriving and looking tidy with some prep and maintenance tasks, and do a little planning ahead for future gardens.

Follow our November Garden Checklist Zones 9-11 for a robust list of all of the things that you should be doing in the garden this month to keep it in top-notch shape.

As always, it is best to consult your local extension office for planting information relative to your specific county.

green leafy lettuce garden

November Garden Checklist & Planning

A successful garden starts with stellar planning. Planning is vital and includes everything from gathering supplies for starting seeds indoors, reflecting on past season outcomes, and more to bring your garden dreams to fruition.

Here are some things to plan for and think about that top our list on our November Garden Checklist Zones 9-11.

  • Get a head start on next spring’s garden! Have your soil tested at the end of the fall garden season! Once you get your results, amend your soil with what it lacks so microorganisms can break these nutrients down and make them available to plants in time for planting.
  • Indoor seed starting time will be here before you know it! Assess your seed stock, order seeds, and seed-starting supplies. Consider things like grow lights, heating mats, seed-starting mix, seed-starting containers, seed storage supplies, and fun seed varieties.
  • Reflect on the layout of this year’s garden. Adjust your garden layout for next year by sketching out plant placement for next year.  Were your gardens overcrowded?  Did some plants overshade others?  Did plants succumb to certain diseases in a particular spot?  Did you lack pollinators? Make adjustments and consider rotating crops for soil and plant health.
  • Inspired by some hardscape ideas or want to build raised beds or trellises? Jot down what supplies you might need so that you can work on them over the winter indoors or now that the temperatures are not as oppressive.
  • Think about season-extending tools such as row covers, hoop houses, and cold frames. Perhaps you can add some of these tools to your toolbox.
  • Reward yourself for a job well done in the garden, and take some time to relax and enjoy the fall and winter seasons.
  • Reflect on what pests were a problem in the garden and research organic methods of protecting your future gardens.
  • Jot down what the temperatures and rainfall in your area were like and what problems they presented for you.
kitchen scraps in composting bin

November Prep & Maintenance

Our November Garden Checklist Zones 9-11 wouldn’t be complete without prep and maintenance tasks. There are lots of things that you can do in your garden this month that will bolster the health and performance of your future gardens.

With a little bit of upkeep, soil building and protection, and general maintenance of tools and garden areas, you’ll be able to close out the growing season without any unfinished business.

  • Water the ground around your plants thoroughly before a freeze to insulate your plants.
  • Water your gardens with an inch of rain per week.
  • Have row covers at the ready to protect tender plants from frost. Keep an eye on the forecast for any potential frosts and cover plants with row covers. Be sure to remove the cloth during the day so plants can receive adequate sunlight.
  • Clean up all plant debris to avoid existing pest and disease issues from overwintering in your garden.
  • Add compost around citrus trees.
  • Continue pulling weeds. Winter weeds can take over quickly, so keep up with the task, so you will have fewer pesky weeds come springtime. Stay on top of organic weeding tactics to ensure a healthy garden come spring.
  • Turn your compost pile to distribute the organic matter and keep it hot. Think about adding more organic materials to your compost pile.
  • Clear your summer garden. Add healthy vines and plants to your compost heap.
  • Improve your garden soil by adding a layer of compost to the beds.
  • Collect seeds from veggies and flowers that are still clinging to the stalks and vines.
  • Divide perennial plants that have overgrown their spaces. Share the garden love with friends and neighbors or spread them around your landscape.
  • It’s best to avoid having bare soil in your garden areas. If your vegetable garden will not be in use over the winter and you did not plant a cover crop, mulch all exposed soil. This protects it from erosion, enriches the soil, and keeps winter weeds from propagating.
  • If you are planning a new garden bed or a hardscape addition, the cooler month of November is the perfect time to do some of the labor involved in the project.
  • Allow some leaves to remain in perennial gardens. Not only will they break down and enrich the soil with organic matter and protect your soil from erosion, but they add much-needed protection for beneficial organisms.
  • Overseed, aerate, fertilize and clear leaves and debris off of lawns.
  • Clean and sanitize bird feeders. Assess your supply of winter birdseed.
  • Bring in tender houseplants and tropical plants that have been enjoying the summer and early fall outdoors. Remove any diseased leaves, repot them with new soil, and spritz with an organic insecticidal soap before moving indoors to ensure no pests can contaminate other plants. Place them in a sunny window to acclimate to the transition.

Fall Tool Maintenance & Care

Tool maintenance is high on the list of priorities on our November Garden Checklist Zones 9-11. Garden and landscaping tools are significant investments, and they make our jobs as gardeners much easier, so it’s vital to take proper care of them.

With the right care and keeping of your garden tools and equipment, they will be ready for use when you need them and will last for many years to come.

  • Wash and sanitize tools.
  • Store tools in a safe place away from the elements.
  • Sand and apply linseed oil to tool handles.
  • Have your chainsaw and lawn mower blades sharpened.
gardener pulling beetroot from soil

November Gardening: Indoor Planting

Don’t forget about indoor planting on your November Garden Checklist Zones 9-11!

  • Many indoor houseplants will go into dormancy during the fall and winter months. Cease fertilizing during this time and resume again in early spring.

November Gardening: Outdoor Planting

  • If you planted cool-season crop seeds last month, go ahead and thin them now.
  • Plant cool-season flowers like snapdragons, dianthus, pansies, mums, and asters for fall color.
  • Plant fall flower bulbs and create a feast for the eyes after a long winter. Those in Zone 9-11 may have to cold-treat bulbs before planting.
  • Plant hardy perennials and water them in well.
  • If you’ve been thinking about planting citrus trees, November is a great time to get those fruit trees in the ground.

Plant cool-season transplant vegetables for a winter crop. Be ready with some frost protection to protect them from cold temperatures.

  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Leeks
  • Fava beans

Fall Harvesting in Zones 9-11

Continue harvesting your cool-season crops as well as any warm-season vegetables that are still producing, such as: 

  • Pumpkins
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Collards
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuces
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Beets

Harvest all of your cold-sensitive vegetables, especially:

  • Pumpkin
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Squash

Share The Garden Love

garden of green leafy lettuce
gardener harvesting beetroot from garden

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