November gardening chores really highlight the differences in regional gardens. For many, there is no November garden to speak of. Others can't wait for the cool days and slower pace of fall vegetable gardening. But even if your garden is already covered in snow, there are still garden tasks calling: last minute bulbs to plant, leaves that should not go to waste, roses that need some TLC and, unfortunately, insect pests are much hardier than their tiny size would suggest.
You will still want to be on the alert for signs of trouble, inside and out.
Take a look at what you should be doing in your November garden and try to schedule a little time outdoors before the holidays claim you.
- Rake leaves and make leaf mold or compost.
- Clean, sharpen, and oil garden tools.
- Finish winterizing your water garden.
- Start forcing bulbs like paperwhites, hyacinth, and amaryllis for the holidays.
- Add organic matter to beds.
- Cover compost so that rain doesn't flood and leach the nutrients.
- Keep weeding.
- Check that indoor plants are receiving enough water, humidity and air circulation.
- Keep an eye out for pests like spider mites and scale, and take care of them before they become a problem.
Frost Free Areas
- Perennials can be divided now.
- Plant Roses, Azaleas, Camellias & Tropical Fruit Trees suited to your areas, as they become available.
- Prune flowering trees as they drop their blossoms.
- Keep planting bulbs that don't require a cold period (amaryllis, anemone, calla lily, freesia, homeria, lilies, oxalis, Ranunculus, Sparaxis, watsonia) and annuals with cool season bloomers
- Keep your fall vegetable garden going.
- Sow wildflower seeds.
- Keep an eye out for insect pests.
Frosty Zones (Zones 6 and down)
- Keep watering trees and shrubs until the ground freezes.
- Protect your roses by mounding soil around the crown and covering the bud union. Tie down climbing rose canes to protect them from cold winds.
- Clean up garden debris and cut back and remove any diseased or infested foliage.
- Protect evergreens from deer damage by circling with stakes and burlap.
- Protect young trees from mice damage by wrapping wire fencing around the bottom portion of the trunk.
- Protect plants from vole damage by not mounding mulch too close to the plant.
- Get those bulbs into the ground NOW.
- Drain and store hoses.
If you're planning on buying a live Christmas tree with the intention of planting it this winter, dig the hole now, before the ground freezes. Remember to keep the soil covered, so that it too does not freeze and can go back into the hole.
Borderline Zones (Pacific NW, Southwest & Southeast)
- Plant cool season vegetables
- Plant asparagus and cut back tops of existing asparagus plants after they are yellowed by frost
- There's still time to plant a cover crop in the vegetable garden
- Watch for frost warnings. Extend the harvest by protecting plants with row covers
- Sow wildflower seeds
- Beef up snail and slug patrol
- Ward of cankerworms on trees by applying sticky barriers, like Tanglefoot, once leaves have dropped (Southeast)