November is now upon us which means soon our minds may be more on preparing for the holiday season, but there are still things that can be done in the garden this time of year. Below are gardening tips to help your garden through the winter season.
General Gardening Tips
- It is a good time to get your soil tested for next season. Forms and boxes can be obtained from the Wayne County Extension office. The seasonal $4 per sample fee runs December through March. From April through November, samples are free.
- Remove fallen leaves from lawns as soon as possible to provide ample sunlight for the lawn. Piles of leaves can become wet blankets that smother your lawn.
- If you have not already done so, apply a pre-emergence herbicide to your lawn to prevent winter weeds.
Trees, Shrubs and Flowers
- November is the time to be planting spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and tulips.
- Clean up rose beds. Be sure all diseased leaves are raked up and disposed.
- Check cypress and other evergreens for bagworms. Remove and destroy bagworm capsules to reduce next year’s pest population.
- After chrysanthemums have stopped blooming, cut stems back close to the ground and dispose of stems and all dropped and dried leaves and branches.
- Bring out the bird feeders and stock them with bird seed for the birds. Remember to provide fresh water for them throughout the winter months.
- Take hardwood cuttings of some shrubs such as hollies, forsythia, viburnum and quince early this month. Bruise the base of the cutting, dip in a rooting hormone, and plant in a sandy soil mix.
Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs
- Till your vegetable garden to expose many insect pests to birds and winter cold, reducing the numbers in next year’s garden.
- A good clean up of fruit trees can reduce future problems. Keep mulches pulled back several inches from the base of trees to prevent bark injury from hungry mice and voles. Pick and clean up fallen, spoiled or mummified fruits to prevent diseases and insects from overwintering.
Jessica Strickland is an agriculture extension agent, specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County.