November starts crisp days and snuggly nights. Our gardens are winding down and the anticipation of snow is on the horizon. Winter is upon us and gardens should be put to bed.
- Perennials—Leave most perennials for the birds and wildlife. However, some should be cut back (2-3”) due to disease problems or flopping in the Winter. Plant garlic for next season. Make sure if you are planting perennials to allow 6-8 weeks before the hard frost sets in. No more fertilizing until Spring. Hosta, Peony, Baptisia or 6 ft. plus Ornamental Grasses to name a few.
- Indoor Plants—Bring indoors all plants you are overwintering once temperatures are below 40 or 30 degrees. Before you bring the pots indoors check for bugs and spray with Insecticidal Soap to prevent an indoor infestation. Maintain a humidity for indoor plants to prevent dry, heated conditions.
- Containers—Set up your Winter containers and swap summer annuals for something that will last through the Winter. If you aren’t putting them outside now keep in a warm place so when you fill them for the holidays the soil isn’t frozen. Wash and bleach (1-part bleach to 10 parts water) all unused containers.
- Seed Saving/Seed Supplies—Last chance to collect seeds for next season. Stock up now on seed starting supplies. These supplies are cheaper now and may take longer when you are ready to start in late Winter.
- Weeding—It’s not time to stop weeding. Most weeds are perennial and will outlast our Winters, so continue to weed for less work in Spring.
- Mulching—Do not mulch until the ground is frozen apply 2-3” layer of organic mulch around plants keeping it a few inches from stems and trunks. Make sure all tender, 1st year plants and bare spots get mulched. A great natural mulch is the bagged leaves and grass from your mower, because the chopped-up mix breaks down faster than many other mulches and eliminates the matting leaves if left on garden beds.
- Bulbs—Finish planting Spring bulbs before the ground hardens.
- Lawn Care—Mow until the grass stops growing. Apply Fall fertilizer if you haven’t already done it.
- Vegetables—Harvest any root vegetables remaining, plant Garlic, mulch asparagus and apply organic mulch or compost all empty beds
- Trees, Evergreens and Shrubs—If ground not frozen continue to water around base if dry.
- Maintenance—Clean, sanitize, hang bird feeders and stock up on bird seed. Winterize fountains or bring in small water features. Bring in all lawn furniture and garden ornaments and repair/paint if necessary. Clean, sharpen, store or replace garden tools.
Note/Pictures—Hopefully you’ve been taking pictures throughout the season. Pictures and notes of garden successes and failures will help you plan for next year’s garden.