Your Monthly Gardening Chores for November and December
- Plant greens of all kinds this month: Collards, turnips, kale, Swiss chard and spinach, as well as lettuces and salad greens.
- Refrigerate tulip and hyacinth bulbs early in the month so they’ll get the minimum six to eight weeks of chill time before planting in late December or January.
- Use your raked leaves for mulch under trees and in planting beds to help build the soil.
- Plant fruit trees and fruit-bearing shrubs such as blueberries this month. Trees are an investment of time and money, so get your soil tested first.
- Continue to plant seedlings of cool-weather annuals such as snapdragons, violas, pansies and alyssum, as well as cool-weather vegetables such as radishes, kohlrabi, green peas and carrots. Fertilize annuals once a month.
- Sow wildflower seeds, if you didn’t do so in November.
Pesky Pests: Palmetto Bugs
Ewww! Between a bad reputation and identity confusion, the palmetto bug can’t seem to catch a break. There are five types of cockroaches that are commonly called “palmetto bugs.” What most people think of as a palmetto bug is actually the American Cockroach, also known as a waterbug, a brown critter about 2 inches long that likes hot, humid areas. The brown-banded cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, Australian cockroach and German cockroach are all called “palmetto bugs.” The true palmetto bug, also known as the Florida Woods Cockroach (Eurycotis Floridana), is found in saw-palmetto palm fans and Sabal palms. It moves slowly, unlike those winged giant roaches zooming about the kitchen, and emits a really foul odor when disturbed. A true palmetto bug is a large stinkbug. Still, it’s a cockroach. Roaches carry bacteria, viruses and disease. The best way to control them is with boric acid. The bugs walk through the powder, which sticks to their feet and is tracked into the nest. The bugs eat it and it absorbs internal moisture, dehydrating the roach to death. It doesn’t necessarily have to be ingested but can also work its way through the roach’s exoskeleton into the body.