Garden Calendar for November in the Southwest

November is a wonderful time to get out in the yard for many reasons.  But there is not too much work that you “must” do this month.

Tidy Up

Personally, I like to get everything tidied up and get it looking good for the holiday season ahead.    Also, some time spent now can eliminate potential problems from the yard that might add to holiday season stress.    Besides, it has cooled down and is now pleasant to get outside and play in the garden a bit.

Yes, we have Autumn color! This is a true pistacio tree

Rake up autumn leaves.    Yes, the “don’t rake” lobby is very voiciferous, but if you rake to one corner of the yard, that’s fine. You will still provide winter shelter for those butterfly caterpillars and other good bugs that we need in our gardens. Plus, the leaves will release their nutrients back into your soil, so you save on fertilizer.
And save on mulch too. Autumn leaves are also good mulch for winter plants.

In my Middle Desert Garden, I rake any plant debris into the tree wells I have created around my trees. Helps keep the roots warm in winter and cool in summer.

Water Systems

In Cooler areas, be sure to put your irrigation “to bed” for the winter. This includes blowing water out of pipes so they don’t freeze and crack. Coil up hoses and store them in the garage.

In Low, Middle, and High Desert – time to reduce irrigation frequency if you haven’t already.


Give your irrigation system a good going over.    Replace clogged or missing emitters.    Fix any leaks.    Replace the back-up battery in your timer if you haven’t done so in more than a year.

Don’t have an irrigation system?    Autumn is a good time to install one.    It is less stressful for plants to have their roots disturbed in the cool season.    You could save money on the installation because ir is a slower time of year for landscape companies. Often the companies try to keep trained crews around, but if they don’t have work for them…. So, often times the sales person and may reduce the price to do the work just to have the work.


A Chore

Here’s that 4 letter word.  Weed.  If we do get any rain, you really want to catch and remove winter weeds as they germinate.

Also, I may be out there dancing with joy. Look for such a post on my Gardening With Soule channel on TikTok.

Some November Planting

In all Elevations

Add color to your (future) landscape with bulbs.    If the soil is not frozen you can plant spring flowering bulbs such as narcissus, tulips, freesia, daffodils, et cetera.    Bulbs should go into an area where the soil is amended with some compost. Or containers with potting soil. More about planting bulbs in the Southwest.

If you want “color” now, here is more on cool season annuals.

A clump of daffodils at my old home in Tucson. They grew in spring sun and summer shade as the trees leafed out.

Low and Middle Desert

Herbs and other some other perennials can still be planted now.    Planting includes dividing and thus replanting and transplanting iris and other clumping perennials.  I divide my garlic chives now since they prefer cooler weather for growing.

Pecan husks can stain your hands so some people prefer to wear gloves for harvest.


Some types of citrus may be ripe.    You have five to six weeks in late autumn to enjoy tangerines.    Most other citrus ripens later.    Citrus are ripe when they fall into your hand with a very gentle tug.    Do not yank or cut them off, they will not have reached their full ripeness.    Store any unharvested fruit right on the tree.

Harvest and enjoy pecans.    Pecans right off the tree are delightful and far better tasting than store-bought.    Also, harvest and enjoy the last of the pomegranates.


Have Fun

Press some of the leaves and flowers you have in your yard.  You can use these to make bookmarks, notecards, gift tags, and many other fun craftsy gifts.   Telephone books work wonderfully to flatten and dry plant parts. No old phone books?  I pick up and use those weekly free papers from the supermarket.  Any paper that is not glossy will work.   Note – most magazines have a glossy surface and will not work.

Look for thin flowers like pansies, salvia, snapdragon, and almost any flat leaf like dill, cilantro, or Mexican buckeye.    Once they are flat and dry, use a glue stick to glue these on cardstock, then cover with clear contact paper for a pretty book mark, gift tags, or a pack of greeting cards. There are many other ideas out there in the interweb.  These are a gift of your time and garden and your true friends will cherish it.

Gifting Season Approaches – Give the Gift of Growing

soule-books-buyOne reviewer said:

“A great reference book is key to successful gardening in the region where you live. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-by-Month Gardening takes the guesswork out of gardening for anyone residing in the Southwest. With this book, you’ll know what to do each month to enjoy a thriving garden all year, from January to December. Chronologically organized, this guide is full of critical gardening when-to and how-to advice, along with illustrated step-by-step instructions.

The book’s author is Jacqueline Soule, a Tucson-based gardening expert. She knows this arid region inside and out, and she’s written several articles and books packed with her gardening advice. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-by-Month Gardening showcases Soule’s expertise in one easy-to-read guide.”

This book (and others) are available on my book selling site.  Buy the book there, and the Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few pennies – at no extra cost to you.


Or maybe a class?  Make some lotion for winter dry skin.

On advice of a business manager – I was told to more actively sell my “products.”   I responded, “Start blowing my own horn more?!  I’m a gardener and a writer, not a sales agent!” but here goes:

As well as writing about plants, I offer classes online and in person.

Like my Making Herbal Lotion Class.

Then there is the fun and informative Membership site the Gardening With Soule Membership Club. There are many wonderful features to the Club site – in-depth detail on topics (more than mere blog posts) – specific plant profiles – care videos – monthly live Q & A sessions, and much more.

Why do I do all this writing and teaching?

So that you will succeed with your gardening goals, and enjoy gardening here as much as I do!

Thanks for reading,



© Article copyright Dr. Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. You must ask permission to republish an entire blog post or article. Okay to use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit. You must include a link to the original post on my site. No stealing photos.




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