Even though it is getting colder it does not mean gardening has to end. This month we are going to feature some flowers, herbs, a plant, and a vegetable that you can plant now. As we mentioned last month fall is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. If you live in warmer zones, these can still be planted. We are going to highlight a spring flowering bulb that falls under the specialty bulb category and is a favorite cool-weather flower. The herbs we selected can be grown indoors throughout the winter months. There are certain herbs that do not mind cold temperatures and we are suggesting two of these herbs to try. These fresh herbs are great for holiday meals.
Here are 6 plants that can be still planted in November:
Siberian Squill – This spring-flowering bulb can be planted now. It is often one of the first flowers of the spring and it is not unusual to see it blooming through a late-season snow blanket. They grow in garden zones 2 through 8 and the flowers are an intense shade of blue, which lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. Like most bulbs, it requires soil that drains well to prevent rotting. The plant prefers full sun to part shade conditions and unlike other bulbs such as Tulips, they are usually ignored by moles, voles, and squirrels. They mix well with Crocus and Snowdrops. It is recommended that they be planted in groups of 100 bulbs in order to form into drifts which show off their pretty blossoms. Hardiness zones 2-10.
Snapdragon – These brightly colored flowers enjoy colder weather. The flowers start blooming from the bottom of the stalk and work their way up making the bloom period longer. In most areas of the country, they are considered an annual flower and they are tender perennials in zones 8-9. They can repeat bloom throughout the growing season but do best in the cool spring and fall and in mild climates throughout the winter. If you deadhead them you can extend the bloom cycle. Snapdragons prefer full sun to partial shade but once the temperatures warm up they might stop blooming. These flowers need to be watered frequently especially when they are first planted.
Rosemary – This fragrant evergreen herb is native to the Mediterranean and is a member of the mint family. It has needle-like leaves that produce blue, pink, purple, or white flowers. This herb is hardy and does well in cool climates. The plant can withstand drought for a period of time. While it is difficult to grow from seed and can have a slow growth rate, there are Rosemary plants that can live up to 30 years old. This herb can be grown outdoors as a perennial shrub in zones 7 or warmer. In cooler zones, it can be grown in a pot and brought indoors in the winter. Rosemary is often used for seasoning poultry, lamb, stews, and soups. Rosemary does best when planted in full sun and well-drained soil. The plant does not grow well if it is constantly wet.
Parsley – This plant is the world’s most popular herb but it often finds itself as an under-appreciated garnish rather than the centerpiece of a dinner plate. What a shame! This herb is highly nutritious, has a vibrant taste and unlike some other herbs and vegetables, it is available all year round. Chopped parsley can be used in salads, as a rub on chicken, lamb, or beef, or in soups and sauces. Makes you want to treat Parsley with a little bit more respect. When planting parsley indoors keep it near a warm, sunny window. Parsley grows best in moist soil, but it is drought-tolerant.
Ornamental Kale – This plant like its edible relative enjoys the cold so a light freeze will not upset it. It is a pretty ornamental plant that has frilly leaves and can add a pop of color in the fall. Ornamental Kale will stay attractive well into the winter. The plant’s leaves form the shape of a rosette. Depending on the variety they can start out pale green and will shift to cream, pink, purple, or red. The rosette expands as the temperature cools. These cold-loving plants can be grown in pots and beds all winter long in temperate regions. They will start to fade when the weather gets warmer in the spring but will rebound if the weather gets cooler. The care for this plant is pretty simple. Don’t let the plants dry out as they don’t do well in dry conditions. Do not fertilize them too much as fertilizer can interfere with the plant color.
Shallot – This plant is part of the allium family, which also includes onion and garlic. The flavor of a shallot is more delicate than that of an onion and a bit deeper than garlic. Shallots are a staple in Iran, India, France, and Ethiopia, while in the US it’s something of a fine-dining delicacy. Shallots can be grown in fall or early spring. In zone 5 or warmer, plant them after the first frost of the fall. Exposing the bulbs to winter freezing typically enhances the flavor of the shallots. If you live in a colder zone, it is better to wait until the spring to plant them. Zone 9 is too hot to produce great shallots. Growing shallots is similar to growing garlic. They should be grown in full sun but will tolerate partial shade.