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5 November garden plants you should consider growing

Here are the best plants to get started for late fall

A large blackbird sitting in a frost-covered tree with red berries
manfredrichter / Pixabay

November is the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, so it isn’t typically a time when people think about working in their gardens. However, November can still be a productive gardening month! We’ve prepared a list of five plants that you can grow in your garden this November — we’ll even give you tips and tricks for growing them, what climates they grow best in, and when you can expect to see results. If you aren’t planning on planting a cover crop this winter, try out one of these November garden plants.

Many daffodils with light yellow petals and orange trumpets
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Daffodils

Daffodils are spring-blooming flowers, but they’re often planted in the fall. Daffodil bulbs should be planted two or three weeks before the ground freezes, so keep an eye on your local weather for the best results. In mild climates, daffodils can be planted as late as the end of November, while those in cooler climates may need to plant them in September or October.

When planting the bulbs, make sure the pointed side is facing up, and plant them between four and six inches down, depending on the size of the bulb. Daffodils need full sun but are otherwise easy to grow. In dry and drought-prone climates, daffodils may need supplemental watering, but they only need about an inch of water each week in mild climates. Additionally, daffodils are resistant to most animals, including deer, rabbits, and voles.

Turnips growing in a garden
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Turnips

Turnips are easy to grow, and their love of cool weather and quick maturation rate make them great candidates for a fall vegetable garden. An important thing to keep in mind is that while turnips enjoy cool weather, they will still suffer cold damage in severe weather. Turnips take one to two months from seed to harvest and are often planted in late summer for a fall harvest. However, November is a great time to plant them in hotter climates!

Turnip seeds only need about half an inch of soil over them, but they do require at least four inches of space between them for sufficient root growth. The most important thing to know about turnips is that they need consistent moisture to grow properly. Avoid over-fertilizing, especially with nitrogen-rich fertilizers. Nitrogen promotes leaf growth, so turnips that are given nitrogen-rich fertilizer will produce large leaves and small turnips.

3 snowdrops up close
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Snowdrops

Snowdrops, similar to daffodils, are planted as bulbs during fall. However, there are a few key differences that may make snowdrops a better fit for your garden. They are more cold tolerant and earlier to bloom. This combination means that snowdrops will, in many cases, begin blooming while there’s still plenty of snow on the ground. This also widens the planting window. In mildly cool climates (such as US Hardiness Zones 7 and 8), snowdrops can be planted well into November.

They’re also smaller, both in blooms and in bulbs. This makes them more likely to dry out, so be sure to plant your snowdrop bulbs as soon as you get them, and provide them with consistent moisture once they’re in the ground. Snowdrops grow best in partially shady areas but are otherwise hardy and easy to grow.

Pansy flowers
scimmery / Shutterstock

Pansies

Pansies are great additions to most gardens, since they’re easy to care for, come in a wide range of color combinations, and, in many cases, will bloom throughout winter. Pansies are unique on this list since fall pansies should be transplanted as mature plants rather than started from seed (although you can start them from seed indoors and transplant them in the spring).

The best planting time for fall pansies depends on soil temperature, which means it can vary quite a bit from location to location. Plant your pansies when the soil is between 45 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For most places in the US, this is between September and November. Pansies do best in moist, rich soil that’s well-draining, and they prefer full or partial sun, with morning sun and afternoon shade yielding the best results.

Pink tulips
Lynn Danielson / Unsplash

Tulips

For gorgeous tulips in early spring, it’s time to start planting bulbs in late fall. These cheerful blooms need a cold period, which is why November is the perfect time to plant them. Ideally, you want to put your bulbs into the ground before the first frost, placing them eight inches down in an area that receives full sun and has well-draining, slightly acidic soil. To keep your plant growing, mulch the ground after planting.  This is also a good time to add a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to your soil.

Water your bulbs weekly until the ground freezes, and then water them again when you notice leaves popping up in the spring. It’s also possible to force blooms indoors as long as you leave your plant in a cool location that’s roughly 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are plenty of plants that you can grow in November, depending on your climate, but these are excellent places to start. Don’t forget that you can also start plants indoors over winter and move them outdoors when spring arrives. Additionally, if you aren’t sure which plants are the best fit for your region, you can always head out to your local garden store for more personalized advice.

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Cayla Leonard
Cayla Leonard is a writer from North Carolina who is passionate about plants.  She enjoys reading and writing fiction and…
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