Some of you may be surprised to see a November planting guide. Our monthly planting guides are designed to help you get an overview of how you can keep growing, year-round, and that includes November! Cold weather and frost have a big impact on what you can grow successfully outdoors, and the continent is full of diverse climates that have wildly different growing seasons. Depending on your growing zone, you might be able to plant different vegetables with success right now, or you might need to move your garden to a greenhouse or indoors. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some more personalized recommendations this month.
November Planting By Zone
Refer to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map to find out what your planting zone is. Our seed packs always include an optimal germination temperature for seeds. This temperature is the average soil temperature, and nighttime temperatures will greatly affect this.
Zones 1-3: It’s cold here already! The gardeners in this northerly climate are already experiencing cold weather and very short days and should focus on indoor gardening right now. Consider starting an indoor herb garden and practice your skills growing indoor gardens of leafy greens and microgreens.
Zones 4-6: Like Zones 1-3, you’re already experiencing some true freezes. An indoor garden is a good choice. Hardy vegetables can still be sown right now, but depending on your winters, you may need some cold frames or a thick layer of straw to protect late-season crops like carrots, leeks, and leaf lettuce. You can also consider sowing quick-growing cool-season cover crops like clover to protect and enrich your soil. You can also plant spring flowering bulbs right now as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
- Swiss chard
- Mustard greens
Zones 7-9: Gardeners in these zones have a wider range of options. Remember that hardy root vegetables and greens have a better flavor when kissed by frost. If you get snow or hard freezes in your area, you may need to consider your plan for winter protection. In addition to the picks for Zones 4-6, consider starting these seeds for a fall or winter garden:
- Leaf lettuce
- Collard greens
- Pak Choi
Zones 10-11+: Gardeners in these sunny climates may not get the winter snowy season, but they do have the luxury of sowing many vegetables, herbs, and flowers right now. In addition to the above suggestions, consider sowing:
Our article on prepping your garden for perennial success talks about the benefits of sowing different seeds like wildflowers and other perennials during autumn or winter to expose them to the conditions they need for spring germination. Make sure you mark your plantings well or keep a map so that you know where you’ve planted these seeds.
Dividing & Planting Perennials
November is a great time to divide and replant all sorts of perennials. This not only rejuvenates older plants but also helps you expand your garden economically. These plants are entering their dormant season, so they will be able to focus on root growth right now. You’ll be giving them the chance to establish roots and adapt to their new home during their dormant period. In the spring, they’ll be better prepared to focus energy on above-ground growth without the added difficulty of overcoming transplant shock.
Fall Planting: Trees & Bushes
Nut trees, fruit trees, and berry bushes are excellent additions to survival gardens, and other trees can provide shade and serve as host plants for pollinators that improve your garden fertility. If you are planning on adding trees or shrubs to your garden, fall is actually a fantastic time! As with divided perennials, as long as the plant is well-adapted to your growing conditions and the ground is not frozen, trees and shrubs often thrive with fall planting.
As the chill of November sets in, you may be turning your attention away from the garden. For those who still want to plant, there’s always some opportunity for growth and planning. Whether you decide to grow some indoor herbs and green leafy vegetables, protect your hardy vegetables with a layer of straw, or start sowing seeds for a cold-weather garden, you’ve got options to practice your gardening skills right now. Embrace the season of change and adapt your garden plan to your personal conditions. You’ll learn a lot and be richly rewarded.