Plan ahead: It may be cold now, but it’s only going to get colder, so make one last effort to tidy up your garden before it snows. The effort you put in now will pay off this spring when you’d rather spend time nurturing new flowers than fighting garden diseases and pests.
Clean-up: Weed and rake leaves and debris out of beds. Touch up with mulch as needed. Mulch will help regulate the ground temperature. When temperatures drop enough for the ground to freeze, mulch will help keep it frozen to avoid heaving caused by freezing and thawing of the soil.
Annuals: Even though it’s hard to say goodbye to favorite plants, many are on their last legs and attention must be paid to cold-weather greenery. Tired annuals should be removed from gardens and added to compost piles. If you see stems carrying seeds, leave those alone so they can self-seed next season.
Watering: New plants introduced this year need the most attention when watering. Precipitation still isn’t enough to quench plants’ thirst during the winter. Keep supplementing rainfall until the end of the month or the ground freezes. By December be sure to drain and remove garden hoses for storage. Turn off water to the spigot in advance of winter freezes.
Cut grass: Before you put the lawnmower away for the winter, get some last laps completed around the yard. Cut more closely to the ground than you have been to prevent snow mold from damaging grass later. Apply a final application of Ferti-lome Lawn Food Plus Iron to strengthen roots and ensure a quick green-up in the spring.
Perennials: Perennials also require maintenance in late fall. Two or three inches of stem should stay standing if cutting back these plants. Stem protects young shoots from hungry springtime animals. It also serves as a reminder of where plants are located so forgetful gardeners benefit too!
Other plants: While all this sounds like a lot to do, some plants don’t require extra work in November. Allow Coneflower, Black-Eyed Susan, and tall Sedums to continue growing naturally. Plants like these make for dynamic winter gardens; birds love them and you’ll love how their unique structures look in falling snow.
Outdoor accessories: Outdoor accessories have provided good vessels, support, and decoration for your garden all year. If you take care of ceramic pots, rain gauges, and garden art properly, they’ll be there for you again season after season. Fragile accessories should be taken inside, cleaned, dried, fixed, and stored. The same can be said for plant supports, but in their case, store them in a colder environment. Supports need to freeze to guarantee that any lingering diseases and pests are killed off before spring.