November to-do list for gardeners

By Rebecca Jepsen
for the Mercury News
November 7, 2009

Gardeners, here's your November to-do list:

Replace worn-out plants and shrubs. Larger plants such as perennials and shrubs put down their roots in the winter when temperatures are mild and rainwater is available.

Control ants by caulking cracks and other points of entry to your home. Ant baits can be effective; ants are attracted to the bait and then carry a small portion back to the nest where it will kill the colony. Boric acid and Fipronil baits are most effective.

Tend your citrus. Stylar end rot usually affects Persian limes but can affect other limes and lemons. Depressed areas will appear leathery and dry, and you will notice a sunken patch at the stylar tip (or end) of the fruit that will start out looking like a water-soaked, whitish area. To cut your losses, pick fruit before it matures.

Tackle any termites. Signs of infestation include autumn swarming of winged termites — they can be white, tan or black — and evidence of tunneling in wood. Inspection and control may require professionals. Details: Go to www.ipm.ucdavis.edu and click on "Home, gardens, landscapes and turf (including Pest Notes)."

WHAT TO PLANT NOW

Transplants: arugula, garlic, lettuce, mustard, onion, potatoes and spinach.

Seeds: arugula, lettuce, mustard, radishes, and spinach.

For a list of cool-season vegetables that do well in Santa Clara County, check out www.mastergardeners.org.