Well the law of averages may actually work this weekend. According to historical data there is a 50% chance of a freeze in my area by November 22. Weather.com is predicting that it will be 33 when I wake up on Sunday, November 22. I would say that is getting pretty close the historical average. . If you still have things in garden I would suggest digging out the row cover and the Christmas lights. Looks like we are going to need them.
- Plant – Even though it is going to be cool for a few days you can still plant lettuce and spinach in most of the state. If you live north of the DFW metroplex you may need to grow them in a way that will allow you to quickly cover them for temperatures below 24 or the infrequent snow or ice storm. Thanksgiving is about the last time that you can plant fava beans.
- Harvest – I don’t know if it is true or not, but I have always heard that collard greens are “sweeter” if harvested after the first freeze. Well, 33 is pretty close to a freeze so I would say this will be a great week to harvest your collard and mustard greens.
- Plant – It is finally cool enough to put out dianthus, snap dragons, pansies, violas and ornamental kale and cabbages. Prepare the soil by gently tilling in an inch or two of compost. You can still plant Texas wild flowers from seed in late November and early December. Now is also a great time to plant two of my favorite spring flowers – larkspur and sweet peas. Spread larkspur in a broadcast manner. Plant sweet peas individually about an inch deep. They will bloom now, stay small through the cool weather and then take off when the temperatures begin to warm up in March.
- Prune – Some of the finer textured perennials like guara and salvia can be pruned back after the first freeze. I cut mine down to about 6” and mulch them fairly deeply.
- Fertilize – Since the soil microbes take longer to break down your compost in the cooler temps it is a good idea to feed your ornamentals with a diluted, water soluble fertilizer for the first few weeks.
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