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Virginia Cooperative Extension

Between the Rows - A Guide to Vegetable Gardening
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November in the Vegetable Garden

Closing Up Shop
Welcome veggie gardeners! VCE supports local gardeners with a host of resources, including free classes, plant clinics and this newsletter. Want to know more? Subscribe here to receive future issues. Missed out on past issues? You can get them all here.
Garden Guide
November To Do List
  • Dig up potatoes and other root crops and store in a cool, dry, dark location
  • Clean up the asparagus bed by cutting off the tops of the plants to about 3-4 inches above the soil level; layer with compost or aged manure
  • Plant herbs that like cooler temperatures, such as dill, sage, thyme, cilantro, fennel, and parsley, for next Spring using a cold-frame or low tunnel (or a cloche for individual plants)
  • Top-dress crops with mulch or shredded leaves, and add wind breaks in garden for additional protection from colder temperatures
  • Vent cold-frames on sunny days and/or air out season extenders periodically
  • Continue to water Winter crops when soil is dry; if freezing temperatures are predicted, water plants the day before and use row covers
  • Take root cuttings of cold-season perennial herbs and grow inside, in case you need to replace some plants lost overwinter
  • Add any fallen leaves to your compost pile and use as mulch in garden beds
  • Test your soil; add lime if needed
  • Continue to look out for freezing temperatures and insulate plants as necessary: The first frost date is predicted between October 15-November 15 throughout Zone 7
Plant, Pest or Other Garden Questions?

Contact the VCE Horticulture Help Desk 

Knowledgeable Virginia Cooperative Extension volunteers are available to answer questions Monday-Friday from 9am to noon.
If you are working with a Winter vegetable garden, some general maintenance is required. Check the soil moisture of your garden regularly and water when necessary. Water helps insulate plants against a frost or freeze. In freezing weather, water plants early in the day and avoid getting the foliage wet. Also try filling plastic jugs with water and place them around your plants inside your season extenders---whether cold-frames, low tunnel, or under floating row covers---to moderate temperatures inside the structure and to further protect plants. Make use of portable containers to be able to bring some plants insider in the case of a deep freeze. Here is additional information on the use of various season extenders and how to grow vegetables in Winter.

Take the time now to tackle one of the last year-end garden tasks---caring for your garden tools and equipment. Most gardeners don't take the time to properly care for their tools throughout the season. Now is the time to extend the life of your tools and equipment to improve their usability with some simple end-of-season maintenance. All hand tools should be cleaned, sharpened, oiled, repaired, and properly stored in a dry place to be ready for next year. Some expert advice on how to tune up your tools is available here and here. Don't forget also to empty and store all garden hoses and sprinkler heads, and securely turn off out-door water outlets. Also empty any rain barrels you might have, and keep the outlet spigots open, so that the barrel does not warp overwinter during a freeze.


Useful information on how to clean and sharpen your garden tools is available here and here.

You might also be able to take advantage of any end-of-season sales on gardening tools and equipment for next year. Here is a list of some practical tools for vegetable gardeners.
Send us your gardening question
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