Califonia Bountiful

Gardening to-do list for November/December

Nov./Dec. 2012 California Bountiful magazine

Pruning, fertilizing, cleaning, planting. What should be done, and when? California Bountiful's gardening expert Pat Rubin lays it out.


  • Chrysanthemums show up in nurseries this month, and they are spectacular. Choose ones just beginning to bloom for the longest display in your garden or on your patio.
  • Plant cool season annuals: calendula, snapdragons, pansies and Iceland poppies.
  • Fertilize the lawn with a winter-type fertilizer; stop fertilizing roses.
  • Cut rose canes back about 1/3 to keep plants from breaking in winter storms. Prune away dead and weak branches in shrubs and trees.
  • Clean up fallen leaves and spent flowers around your plant to prevent overwintering insects.
  • For larger blooms, thin camellia buds.
  • Don't prune evergreen shrubs or citrus.


  • Watch for bare root plants in nurseries: fruit trees, roses, berries, vines, shrubs, grapes, artichokes, horseradish, strawberries, rhubarb and more.
  • Pot paper white bulbs in pots to give as gifts.
  • Later this month, spray peaches and nectarines with lime sulfur, copper sulfate or fixed copper to control peach leaf curl.
  • Cut chrysanthemums to about 8 inches after they bloom.
  • If you're using a living Christmas tree, keep it outside until just before Christmas, making sure it is well-watered before bringing it inside.
  • Give gardenias, azaleas and camellias chelated iron if leaves are turning yellow.

Coming soon!
Need gardening advice? Ask the expert! Beginning with the new year, Pat Rubin will answer your gardening questions online. Details to come.

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