Top 10 Things To Do in your Garden this Month
November is an important month for many things in our gardens! To help keep your garden in good shape now, and even better shape for the months to come, please take note of the following important ‘to do’s:
1. It’s the last chance to plant garlic for harvest next July. Raised beds, sandy soil, and a sunny location are key. Russian and Elephant garlic are usually the most successful in our area. Plant at a depth 3 to 4 times the width of the clove and mix in lots of mushroom compost.
2. For colour in late December, January, and February, plant yellow winter aconites, crocuses, and snowdrops as soon as possible. They are best planted in and around shrubs or evergreen perennials, like Japanese azaleas, dwarf conifers, euphorbias, colourful heucheras, and new sedums, like golden ‘Angelina.’
3. Tone up your lawn, keep it green, and help it bounce back quickly in spring by applying a stabilized nitrogen fertilizer like 32-0-10. West Coast turf trials endorse this application. Now is also the time to apply Dolopril lime to our lawns to prevent the soil from becoming too acidic over the winter months.
4. Bare patches in our vegetable gardens could be planted with either fall rye or Rejuvenation Mix that actually fixes nitrogen in the soil as it grows. This is a great organic way to improve the quality of your soil for next year.
5. It’s time to tidy up your roses for winter by simply pruning them back lightly to about 2 to 3 feet and by cleaning up any dead wood. Climbers should be retrained on arbours and trellises and cut back to about 4 to 6 feet. Leave only 4 to 5 canes and cut out the rest. Apply about 12 to 15 inches of protective mulch, or even soil, over the bud unions. Tree roses need to be wrapped with wire from top to bottom and leaves or bark mulch placed on the inside to protect both the top and bottom grafts.
6. Most hedging cedars, junipers, and other ‘non bud’ forming conifers can be tidied up and pruned to make them less susceptible to heavy snow damage. Pruning of spruce trees, firs, and pines should be left until the end of May. Non-flowering broad-leaved plants, like laurels, photinias, and boxwood, can also be tidied at this time of year.
7. At the end of the month, our last two hardy annual plants must be lifted to ensure their protection for winter. All tuberous dahlias and canna roots need to be cut back, carefully lifted with forks, cleaned, dried, and stored cool (40°F/4.5°C) over the winter.
8. All tropical indoor plants, that have been summering outdoors, must be inside now. They need to be thoroughly checked for insects and stored cool (10°C/50°F) with lots of light. It is best if fuchsias, lantanas, and Angel Trumpets are stripped of their leaves. Keep them just moist.
9. As late summer and fall herbaceous perennials finish and look messy, prune them to the ground and apply compost or manures to build up the soil for next year. Plant winter pansies, violas, hardy evergreen perennials, and grasses in bare areas for a great look all winter and plant bulbs in among them for a real treat next spring.
10. Is late fall a riot of colour in your garden? If not, look at all the outdoor colour potential found in other gardens and in garden stores at this time of the year, from winter-flowering heathers, fragrant viburnum ‘Pink Dawn,’ and sasanqua camellias to ‘Winter Sun’ Oregon grape, and evergreen viburnum ‘Spring Bouquet’ … and so much more!