In November, you still want to watch for dry periods and water your outdoor plants when the soil dries out, especially for new plantings. Roots of plants grow in winter months and need moisture through winter. You can plant trees and shrubs anytime the ground is not frozen. This will give the plant more time to become established before the next hot summer.
Add a fire pit to your outdoor living space and enjoy cool evenings around a crackling fire. Remember to turn your clocks back the first weekend in November. There are many things to do in the yard and garden before the season ends.
There are many things to do in the yard and garden before the season ends. So, dig in to the tasks listed below and enjoy the outdoors as much as you can!
- Keep leaves raked up and off the lawn to prevent injury to turf grasses. You can also mow over leaves to pick them up or mulch them into the lawn.
- Continue mowing lawn grasses as long as they keep growing, 2-3” high is good.
- Apply Winterizer fertilizer to lawns to strengthen plant stems and roots for winter growth and to promote early spring green up.
- Plant tulips, daffodils, and other spring bulbs now. Add bone meal or bulb food when planting per the directions on the label.
- Continue to water perennial beds, shrubs and trees when the soil dries out – up until the ground freezes.
- Toward the end of the month, be sure to shut off and drain any outdoor water pipes or irrigation systems that may freeze during cold weather. Roll up and store garden hoses on a warm, sunny day.
- Cover garden ponds with bird or pond netting to help prevent leaves from fouling the water. Oxygen depletion from rotting organic matter can cause winter kill of pond fish. The water freezing over can also block oxygen for fish. So, take steps to prevent garden ponds from freezing solid. Floating a water garden heater in the pond, will lessen the chance of ice damage.
- Now is a good time to collect soil samples to test for pH and nutritional levels. Lime will increase the pH level if it is low. Sulfur will lower the pH level if it is high. If lime is needed, apply at the rate of 50 lbs. per 500 sq. ft.
- Till your vegetable garden when cold weather arrives to expose many insect pests to winter cold, and reduce their numbers in next year’s garden.
- Mulch strawberries for winter with straw. This should be done after several nights of 20 F, but before temperatures drop into the teens. Apply straw loosely, but thick enough to hide plants from view.
- Set up a variety of bird feeder types to get the best assortment of birds to come to your yard. Tube feeders are good for songbirds, platform feeders are good for cardinals and larger birds, and suet is a great source of fat and energy for woodpeckers and all bird types. Birds also appreciate a source of unfrozen drinking water during the winter. Use one of the many styles of birdbath heaters or heated birdbaths available at garden centers.
- After the first hard freeze, mulch rose bushes heavily to a depth of 12” to cover the plant graph area properly using bark, compost, or straw with rose collars. Prune back longer canes to 24-36” to prevent whipping from wind in the winter. Hold off on heavy pruning until April of next year.
- Winter houseplant care: reduce or eliminate fertilizer until spring, shorter days mean slower growth, slower growth means less frequent watering. Plants in plastic pots need less water than those in clay pots. Plants in cooler rooms need less water and will have slower growth than those in warm rooms. Creating additional humidity is always beneficial. An easy way to increase humidity is to use trays filled with water and large pebbles. Place the plants on the pebbles so they will not sit in the water, but they can get the benefit of a higher humidity level as the water evaporates.
Enjoy your yard and garden in every season!
Time to go……….See you in the Garden…………..
Sandi Hillermann McDonald