November in Louisiana means cooler weather, but that doesn't mean you have to hang up your garden tools for the year. Some garden plants withstand cold weather, so you can keep your garden filled and growing until spring.
For green, leafy crops, plant mustard, turnips, spinach, collards, leaf lettuce, endive, cabbage or kale. You might even harvest younger broccoli and cauliflower leaves as greens. Plant carrots, turnips and radishes for root crops, but if you plant beets, the vegetable might die back if very low temperatures settle in.
On the positive side, however, you could harvest beet leaves as greens if a hard freeze does threaten. Shallots and garlic sets still can be planted, and onion transplants can be set in late November-December. Cabbage can be seeded now for early production in the extreme south of Louisiana.
Insects that are problems during the cool season include green cabbage worms, aphids and thrips. Malathion, Sevin, Bacillus-Bt and several other pesticides can be used to control these problems safely.
A number of plant diseases can strike our garden crops during this season, but they can be controlled by maneb or chlorothalonil fungicides. Follow label recommendations.
For additional information on plants suitable for a winter garden or controlling insects and diseases, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office. You also may obtain a copy of the publication, "Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide
," which provides more details on recommended varieties.