November Garden Tips

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  • Collect and store seeds for next year’s summer annuals before digging the plants up and for perennials when deadheading (removing spent flowers)
  • Install Winter annuals
  • Purchase and plant bulbs for next Spring – many are very water wise and will naturalize such as Daffodils and Narcissus, Brodiaea, Bearded Iris, Amaryllis belladonna, Watsonia borbonica
  • Rake away mulch and debris from the bases of plants to reduce moist conditions at the root ball/stem interface.
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicide to reduce weed species germination
  • Cover exposed, valves, pipes and backflow prevention devices to protect from hard freezes
  • Turn off your irrigation controller and or install a rain sensing device to prevent water waste.
  • Water only as needed.
  • Watch for aphids, scale, spider mites and other insect pests that may continue to thrive in fall.
  • Treat with accordingly using organic canola-based or horticultural oil. Systemic insecticides can also be used if there are no edible plants nearby
  • Fall is a good time to plant. When installing plants, tamp the soil firmly around the roots and water sufficiently to collapse any air holes that might allow cold temperatures to enter and damage the plant’s root system – mulching around the plant also helps create an extra layer of protection for roots
  • Prune and dispose of dead or diseased branches, foliage, stems and spent flowers on shrubs and perennials for the upcoming winter. Add these to the compost pile if there are no signs of disease or insects. This is also an ideal time to divide winter dormant perennials
  • Cover tender plants overnight with a cotton sheet or horticultural blanket when frost or freeze is imminent. Sprayed on anti-desiccant products such as Wilt Pruf or Cloud Cover can also help
  • A 3” layer of mulch in the landscape and in containers will prevent weeds, protect against temperature fluctuations and prevent moisture loss
  • Deep clean in and around dense plants to remove leaf litter from accumulating. Prune out dead stems and branches
  • Fallen leaves are a complete natural source of nutrients for plants. Gather then compost to add them back into the soil next Spring
  • Do not leave any leftover fruit hanging in trees. These can and will harbor pests and diseases.
  • Keep the base of roses clean and clear of leaf litter to prevent the overwintering of fungal spores and insect eggs/larvae
  • Put away the lawn equipment for the winter. Disconnect the spark plug, empty the gas tank, clean the machines especially the undersides where grass clippings can accumulate, sharpen and treat blades to prevent corrosion
  • Fertilize lawns with 6-20-20 with iron
  • Sharpen tools for winter pruning duties especially – hand pruners, loppers and pole pruners.
  • Keep a solution of disinfectant to apply to blades between cuts or at the very least between plants
  • Watch the forecast for rain events of 1” or more, then fertilize trees and shrubs just before with an organic fertilizer such as bone meal