For Fresh Color
Refresh summer container plantings with winter combinations for evergreen color and seasonal interest. Plant pansies and violas soon so they can develop enough roots to thrive all winter. Add ornamental cabbage/kale or heathers, grasses, and coral bells for evergreen accents.
Pot up and store tulips and daffodils to force into early bloom indoors next February. Leave potted bulbs outside in a protected area that does not freeze to receive required chill time (at least 14–16 weeks); water thoroughly every few weeks and bring indoors when bulbs have rooted and have spent enough time outside. Most bulbs will bloom 2–3 weeks after being brought indoors.
There’s still time to plant garlic and spring-flowering bulbs outside, but don’t wait too long—it is best to give them some time to root before cold, wet weather sets in for the season!
For the Lawn & Landscape
Cooler weather and plentiful rain make this ideal planting time for trees and shrubs. Evaluate your garden’s need for evergreens and plants with winter interest. Cruise through garden centers for ideas and inspiration. Continue to plant and transplant until the end of this month.
Trim chrysanthemums to 4–6 inches tall after they finish blooming; hardy varieties will return in spring. Once spring growth resumes, pinch back by about 1/3 every 2–3 weeks until around the 4th of July (causes the plant to branch with many flower buds that will open late summer or fall).
Allow ornamental grasses to stay up for winter to add texture to your garden as well as food and shelter for birds and wildlife; trim back in early spring before new growth begins.
Treat mossy roofs and walkways during dry spells with Bonide Moss Max.
Mossy lawns may need improved drainage and possibly an application of lime (do a pH test to confirm). Bonide Moss Max Lawn Granules can control existing moss in lawns and help them green up quickly. If major drainage improvements are needed, call our Landscaping Department to talk with someone from the water management team.
Consider applying a dormant spray to plants that struggled this season; roses, dogwoods, lilacs, and fruit trees will especially benefit from dormant season control of overwintering pests and diseases (see section above for details).
Burn off those extra Thanksgiving calories by mulching your garden beds after a frost. We love to use G&B Soil Building Conditioner as our mulch of choice. Make sure not to pile mulch too close to the stem, trunk, or crown of plants.
Arrange for fall cleanup/winterization with your landscaper.
For the Edible Garden
Plant blueberries, cane berries, and fruit trees this month to take advantage of cool, rainy weather. Amend soil with compost to improve drainage if planting in heavy clay. G&B Acid Planting Mix is perfect for blueberries.
Protect tender greens and fall crops from heavy freezes with cold frames and frost protection cloths.
Plant cover crops for soil building (last chance this season). You can also use a 3- to 4-inch layer of leaves (chopped/shredded) spread over garden plot to eliminate winter weeds, suppress early spring weeds, and prevent soil compaction from rain.
Treat peaches four weeks after leaf fall; spray for peach leaf curl and shot hole diseases.
Prepare to apply dormant spray to fruit trees and ornamentals by purchasing or locating necessary products and sprayer supplies; dormant sprays should be applied around Thanksgiving, New Years, and President’s Day for best control of overwintering insects and/or diseases.
- Bonide Copper Fungicide (disease control)
- Horticultural Spray Oil (insect control)
- Home Orchard Spray (insect and disease control)
In the Garden Shed
- Clean and oil your lawnmower; service as needed.
- Clean and sharpen tools before storing for winter.
- Drain and store hoses before freezing temperatures arrive.
Basic Pruning List
Autumn (September to mid-December)
- Thin shrubs and trees only as needed (further pruning may result in new growth that won’t harden off before winter).
- Remove dead branches from trees and shrubs, as needed, and branches that are damaged or may cause damage from winter wind or snow/ice.
- Cut roses to waist or chest high to reduce winter damage from wind and snow/ice.
For the Indoors
Plant paperwhites and amaryllis for indoor seasonal color; you’ll see paperwhite flowers opening in 4–6 weeks; 6–8 weeks for amaryllis. For extended bloom time, continue to plant them every 2 weeks while supplies last.
Create a holiday centerpiece, table arrangement, or wreath with cuttings from the garden: colorful berries (beautyberry), seed heads, leaves with vibrant fall color, stems for texture and bulk, fall-blooming flowers (camellias)
Visit local gardens to see blazing fall colors and to get inspired for future plantings (be sure to check hours and other details before visiting):