By tending to these tasks in November, you’ll help your garden transition smoothly into winter and set the stage for a successful and vibrant garden in the following spring.
Flower Beds, Trees, and Shrubs:
- Remove remaining dead plant material, including annuals and spent perennials. Cut back ornamental grasses.
- Top-dress your perennial beds with a layer of compost. Mulch flower beds and the base of trees and shrubs to provide insulation for roots during winter.
- Plant cool-season flowers, such as carnations, pansies, petunias, and snapdragons.
- Now is a good time to plant ornamental trees and shrubs. · Use dormant oil sprays to control scale on ornamental plants, trees, and shrubs.
- Protect citrus trees if freezing temperatures are predicted. Water a day prior and you may also use covers.
- Water young trees and shrubs deeply before the ground freezes, especially if there’s been insufficient rainfall. Consider wrapping the trunks of young trees with burlap or tree guards to protect them from winter damage.
- Finish planting spring-blooming bulbs early in the month if you haven’t already. Make sure to water them well after planting.
- Prune deciduous trees and shrubs after they have dropped their leaves. Remove dead, diseased, or crossing branches. Avoid heavy pruning, as it can stimulate new growth that may be damaged by frost.
- Harvest any remaining root vegetables and winter squashes before the ground freezes. Remove and store any remaining herbs for winter use.
- Continue planting herbs that like cooler weather, such as dill, sage, thyme, cilantro, fennel, and parsley.
- Work compost or well-rotted manure into vegetable beds to enrich the soil for the next growing season.
- If you haven’t already, consider sowing cover crops like winter rye or clover in vegetable beds to prevent soil erosion and add nutrients.
- Rake leaves off the lawn to prevent them from suffocating the grass. Consider using leaves as mulch in flower beds or composting them.
- Mow the lawn one final time, cutting the grass slightly shorter than usual. This helps prevent matting of the grass under snow.
- If you haven’t applied a winter fertilizer yet, do so early in the month to help the grass store nutrients for the winter.
General Garden Chores:
- Clean, sharpen, and properly store garden tools for winter. Drain and store hoses indoors to prevent freezing and cracking.
- Remember the birds. As you prune, make a small pile in the back of the yard for your feathered friends.
- Use this time to plan next year’s garden. Research new plant varieties and sketch out your garden layout. Consider crop rotation in vegetable beds.
- Inspect garden structures such as trellises, arbors, and fences. Make any necessary repairs before winter storms.
- Remove and dispose of any diseased plant material. Cleanliness in the garden helps prevent diseases from overwintering and spreading next year.