Hey there, fellow green thumbs! November may usher in cooler weather, but it’s no time to hang up your gardening gloves. Your garden still needs some love before the winter chill sets in. This month is your chance to set the stage for a vibrant spring garden while protecting your plants from the harsh season ahead. So, let’s dive into these 11 essential tasks to keep your garden thriving in November.
Add Compost for Soil Enrichment
To supercharge your soil, apply a layer of compost after your fall cleanup. Hack: Create your compost by recycling kitchen scraps and yard waste, providing your garden with eco-friendly nutrients.
Cut Back Perennials
As autumn sets in, trim your perennials down to the ground, making it easier to prepare for spring. Hack: Save the trimmings for crafting a stunning fall bouquet or other creative projects.
November is the perfect time to move your perennials. If you’re separating, find natural separation points, and for transplants, ensure they get regular watering until the ground freezes. Hack: Share your divisions with friends or neighbors to spread the gardening joy.
Fertilize Before Winter
Strengthen your plants’ roots by giving them a final feeding. Follow the instructions on your chosen fertilizer carefully. Hack: Opt for organic fertilizers for a sustainable garden and long-term soil health.
Keep the Fallen Leaves in Your Garden
Allowing dried leaves to remain in your garden can have several benefits. While some gardeners prefer a tidy look, leaving this natural debris can be a valuable choice. Hack: Leave dead leaves in your garden to protect beneficial insects and provide a food source for wildlife during winter. This organic matter also helps maintain healthy soil and offers cover for bees and pollinators.
Mulch Using Cut Leaves or Fallen Leaves
Another option: instead of leaving dried leaves in your garden, consider using them as a natural mulch. Spread a layer of fallen leaves around your plants to help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. This way, you not only enrich your garden but also make the most of the fallen foliage.
Plant Spring Bulbs
Plant spring-blooming bulbs like daffodils and tulips before the ground freezes. Follow packaging guidelines for proper planting depth and spacing—hack: Group bulbs in clusters for a dramatic and colorful spring display.
Preserve Perennial Bulbs
After digging up your perennial bulbs, ensure they are clean and dry before storing them in a dry place. Hack: Label your storage containers to keep track of different bulb varieties.
Pull Out Annuals
Remove all annual plants to prevent them from self-seeding and creating weed problems in the next season. Hack: If the annuals are disease-free, compost them for eco-friendly disposal or transplant them indoors in pots.
Protect Delicate Shrubs
Safeguard vulnerable shrubs from winter damage using plant bags or burlap. Be gentle while wrapping to avoid bud damage. Hack: Add holiday lights to your shrub covers for a festive garden look.
Clear your garden beds of weeds during the colder months to reduce springtime headaches. Combining this task with cutting back perennials can save time. Hack: Turn weeding into a social activity by involving family or friends.
Water Before Frost
Keep watering your garden until the ground freezes, gradually reducing the frequency as temperatures drop. Hack: Install a drip irrigation system for automated watering, saving you time and effort.
This originally appeared on Planet Natural.
Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.