November Gardening Tips

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  • Collect seeds for next year’s supply of summer annuals before digging the plants up and for perennials when deadheading (removing spent flowers)
  • Install Winter annuals
  • Still time to buy and plant many different types of bulbs for next Spring’s show – some of which are very water wise such as Daffodils and Narcissus, Brodiaea, Bearded Iris, Amaryllis belladonna, Watsonia borbonica
  • When applying mulch around trees and woody ornamental plants, allow a 4-6 inch space around the trunk to prevent rot in decaying bark.
  • Stop weeds before they germinate with a pre-emergent herbicide
  • Drain irrigation lines where ground freezes or at the very least cover exposed, valves, pipes and backflow prevention devices
  • Turn off your irrigation controller and or install a rain sensing device to prevent water waste.  Water only as needed.
  • Aphids, scale and spider mites may continue to thrive in fall and their honeydew attracts ants. Treat with an organic canola-based or horticultural oil.  Systemic insecticides can also be used if there are no edible plants nearby
  • If planting towards the end of autumn, make sure to 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
  • Prepare perennials for the upcoming winter by clearing and disposing of dead or diseased branches, foliage, stems and spent flowers. Add them to the compost piles if there are no signs of disease or insects.  This is an ideal time to divide winter dormant perennials
  • Protect plants that are still blooming and other tender plants from frost (not freeze) by covering them overnight with a cotton sheet or horticultural blanket.  Sprayed on anti-desiccant products such as Wilt Pruf or Cloud Cover can also help
  • Replenish mulch to 3 inches in the landscape and in containers to prevent weeds, protect against temperature fluctuations and prevent moisture loss
  • Keep Italian Cypress and other dense-leafed shrubs free of debris by periodically cleaning  inside of the dense foliage and branching structure
  • Time to rake up the blanket of leaves and debris that have accumulated around your trees and chip or shred and then compost for future sources of mulch or soil amendment
  • Remove any leftover fruit still hanging in trees.  These can and will harbor pests and diseases.
  • Remove leaf litter from the bases of roses and fruit trees to prevent the overwintering of fungal spores and insect eggs/larvae
  • Retire your 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
  • Apply organic based fertilizer to woody plants just before a rain event of at least 1”  – the storm will water in the fertilizer