Well this is turning out to be an interesting month and that’s even without mentioning politics! Fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentleman…November has arrived! It’s the month I take stock of the harvest and look back on the past year…not just in the garden either.
I make notes about what worked and what didn’t and start a wish list. If I leave it to the New Year I find I forget stuff. There are so many interesting things to do still, indoors and outdoors and after the 20 degree temperature we’ve had I think I better fish out my flip flops from the Summer bin just in case. It’s easy to get a bit overwhelmed this month. Take your time, be selective with it and what you choose to spend energy on, there is no shame in just going for a walk or staying in and doing some thinking for a spell.
Given these interesting times we live in, I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes to ponder and a timely one I think: “When given a choice between being right and being kind, always choose kind.” Dr. Wayne Dyer.
Right then, here is your list:
You likely have only one last mowing…if that. Raise your mower height and leave it a bit high. Rake the leaves off the lawn, don’t let them sit or you will have bare patches. Avoid traffic on waterlogged areas. Take note of any soggy areas and if we do get a dry few days you might want to correct the drainage. November rains are the dress rehearsal for the winter. We often have extremes in temperature as well. I would leave seeding for the spring at this point…you are likely pushing your luck. Still a bit of time for adding the odd piece of turf but you are past the point where I would lay sod. Once you’ve finished that last mow, drain the gas and take in the blade to get sharpened to avoid the spring rush.
Trees and Shrubs
Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches at any time. You can tell if a branch is dead by carefully scraping a tiny section of bark. If it's green underneath and still flexible, it's still alive. If its dry, brown and brittle, that branch is probably done-for.
I do my main pruning in February but you can so some tidying of shrubs if they are flopping over. Raking is a daily chore. Put the Apple, Pear, Plum and Rose leaves in the green bin, the rest you can add to your garden beds or use as mulch around your other trees.
Now is a great time to plant new trees and hardy shrubs or start planning a new garden bed. If you can get one or two anchor trees or shrubs in now you can begin the infill layer of smaller perennials and grasses in the spring…so hubby if you are reading this…clear that new garden bed!
Finish harvesting, check drainage and remove any rotting veggies. If you have a winter crop started you can get the cover in place if one is needed otherwise just continue to monitor and cull as needed.
You have had a taste of the rain to come, check the drainage and correct. Time to pull out any blown Mums or other fall flowers and start thinking of your winter planter design. I like to add lanterns or other hard features as place holders for the winter greens you will be adding mid month. If you are like me and haven’t pulled out your begonias you might want to think about doing that soon.
Truly, I am like the cautionary tale of front door planters. “Don’t be like that lady down the street who still has flowering begonias a week before Christmas.” The greens are in at the nursery. If you start a little at a time it’s not that big of a job. Lol, who am I kidding I am going to leave it till the night before I have people coming over for a Christmas party. Adrenalin makes for excellent designs.
Continue cleaning out the leaves and removing any rotting vegetation.
Yes, you can still keep planting bulbs as long the bulbs themselves are still in good shape! (Which they are - there havent been any harsh frosts yet!). Bulbs like Tulips, Daffodils and others are on sale too - yay!!!!!! – Plant them for a great selection of spring and late winter colour. Remember to plant in groups or drifts!
Dahlias, Cannas and other tubers – We are just going to enjoy the last of the blooms until Mother Nature gives us a knock down hard frost to melt off the top growth, we’ve had a few light frosts but I still have green. Once that happens, dig them up, let them dry out on newspaper or cardboard in the garage, brush them off and store in a paper bag with pine shavings or sawdust.
If you can avoid cutting back or raking your garden and the pollinators with thank you. The only things you will likely want to cut back if you have them are Peonies. The only raking and removal you should do are roses. Everything else can be a great mulch.
Keep them clean and filled. We do have local Hummingbirds that stay all winter! Bird Feeders – After the wind and rain assess the placement of your feeder to make sure the seed is still dry. Clean often. Great time also to look up some fun pinecone feeder projects!!
That should do for now, enjoy your blustery month, take some time to ponder and plan and take care of yourselves!!