November garden to-do’s
After the cold weather lays everything bare, the “bones” of your garden become visible, and you can start to plan for how you want the space to look once the warm weather returns. End-of-season garden prep in the late fall can make a world of difference come spring. Here are a few checklist items to get you started.
Clean up and repurpose fallen leaves
It’s called “fall” for a reason! Allowing fallen leaves to decompose returns valuable nutrients to your soil, provides a habitat for insects over the winter, and acts as a natural mulch for your garden. Rake leaves off of your lawn and use them as gardening mulch or compost — but it’s important that you chop up the leaves with a mulching mower or leaf shredder. Moisture will become trapped under leaves, leading to snow mold and causing barren patches on your lawn or garden come spring.
Remove any remaining weeds
The lack of blooms makes weeds much more visible, so now is the time to take care of them before they settle in your garden for the winter. Be vigilant about any weeds that have sprouted already — these probably germinated in the fall and can survive the winter and become a nuisance come spring. The sooner you can get rid of them, the better!
Protect young shrubs and trees
Newly planted trees and shrubs will benefit from winter wind protection. Wrap them up with a burlap screen to protect them, and pound the support stakes in place. Now is also a good time to give your young shrubs and trees a good watering before they go dormant and the ground freezes for the winter.
Plant annual and perennial bulbs, tubers or vegetables
November is your last chance to plant any bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that you’d like to see bloom in spring. Plant any bare-root hedging plants, roses, trees and shrubs before the weather turns cold, and vegetables such as garlic, onions, horseradish, berry bushes and fruit trees.
Start planning for spring
Now is the time to reflect and assess! Did some of your plants overpower others? Did any of your plants succumb to disease? Was the area short on pollinators? Make adjustments and consider rotating crops for soil and plant health, or ridding your garden of any plants that didn’t thrive.