Just when you thought gardening was over for the year, think again! November is an excellent time to plant a variety of greenery.
Planting shrubs in November affords root systems to become fully established before summer’s heat. Nurseries are more quiet this time of year and staff can more readily answer questions. Thoroughly prepare the bed prior to planting. Set containers on top of the soil to ensure the proper spacing of all plants before digging. Dig a gently-sloped, cone-shaped hole slightly wider than the container and only deep enough so that the root ball top is either level with the soil surface or just below it. A hole exactly matching the container makes it more difficult for roots to spread out naturally. Firmly push soil with your hands around the root ball. Water thoroughly after all plants are set, and occasionally after that if the weather is dry. Adding several inches of mulch, like pine straw, helps keep the newly planted areas weed-free. Remember to pull mulch of any sort a few inches away from the root ball to avoid rot. No fertilizing until spring.
Choose from the following shrubs that are best planted this time of year: Sasanqua, Sweet Olive, Camellia, Gardenia,Yews, American Beauty Berry, ‘Shoal Creek’ Vitex is an LSU Super Plant
For instant color, choose chrysanthemums with their vivid hues of gold, yellow, burgundy and white. A hallmark of the fall season, chrysanthemums, commonly referred to as mums, are available as two types. First are the mounding garden variety, which are best suited for planting in the ground or grown in a container after the season transitions to winter. Then there are florist types which are typically used as corsages, or arrangements, such as for All Saints Day, and meant to be recycled in your compost after the occasion.
Select mums that are mostly buds, or not fully opened. Be mindful there is a substance in mums that is toxic to curious animals. While not a favorite of deer or rabbits, it could be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Regularly deadhead and prune hard in January for a full fall flush as new growth emerges from the roots. Happy Growing!