November yard and garden tips

November is still a cleanup month, and investing time in tidying up the lawn and garden before the snow flies will pay big dividends in the spring. You will not only shorten your to-do list, you will also help ward off pests and disease problem later.

  • Mulch: No mulch volcanos. Use woody mulch materials to foster soil fungi and slowly help add organic matter to the soil

  • Plant trees and shrubs now; this allows about a month for the roots to settle in before a hard freeze

  • Keep mowing the lawn at 3-3 1/2 inches and rake the leaves off the grass.

  • Get a soil test, or follow the one from spring. You can fertilize once more before November 15, per state law, and spread pelletized lime on the lawn and garden now if the recommendations suggest this.

  • This is the last chance to collect seeds for next year, or you can leave seed heads for the winter birds or winter interest.

  • Top flower beds with finished compost or mulch before the ground freezes. Do not mulch iris roots or the centers of the perennials and hardy plants

  • Continue to plant bulbs for a beautiful spring flower show in your garden

  • Plant the garlic for next year now

  • Strawberry beds need about 3-4 inches of straw mulch for winter protection

  • Red and gold raspberries may be cut back to the ground now to rejuvenate the plants

  • Clean and wash empty flower pots and make sure you empty ceramic and terra cotta pots. Store them in a dry place because they will crack if they are wet and they freeze

  • Ornamental grasses should be left standing to protect their crowns from a harsh winter. Cut them back in the spring

  • Hang an assortment of bird feeders for our feathered friends:

    • Thistle feeders for the goldfinches

    • Suet feeders for the woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and wrens

    • Safflower seeds in mesh feeders for the titmice, cardinals and finches

    • Ground feeders for the doves, juncos and native sparrows

Nature Note for 11/12/2017