In November the pace slows down and we start to put our gardens to bed in preparation for Winter. Don’t neglect important tasks like pruning, planting Fall bulbs, and dealing with moss in lawns. It’s still an ideal time to plant shrubs and trees, and keeping your porch plantings fresh and seasonally current should be high on your priority list in advance of hosting guests!
November Gardening To Do List
Refresh late Summer container plantings with Fall and Winter combinations including evergreen color and seasonal interest. Use Ornamental Cabbage/Kale or Heather, Grasses, and Heuchera for evergreen accents with Pansies and Violas for cool-temperature blooms.
Plant Pansies/Violas in pots and landscapes soon so they can develop roots to thrive all winter.
Pot up Hyacinths and Daffodils to force into early bloom indoors next February. Leave potted bulbs outside in a protected area like a shed or porch 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 spent enough time outside. Most bulbs bloom 2–3 weeks after being brought indoors!
Planting, Pruning & Maintenance
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 our garden centers for ideas and inspiration. Continue to plant and transplant any trees, shrubs, and perennials until the end of this month.
Continue to water any pots or landscape beds under eaves and on porches since the rains won’t reach those plants!
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 and ice.
Cut Roses to waist or chest high to reduce Winter damage from wind and snow and ice.
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 to cause 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; wait to trim back grasses until January or February before new growth begins.
Clean and sharpen pruning and planting tools before storing for winter.
Treat mossy roofs and walkways during dry spells with Bonide Moss Max.
Burn off extra Thanksgiving calories by mulching your garden beds after a frost. We prefer G&B Soil Building Conditioner as our mulch of choice. Do not to pile mulch too close to the stem, trunk, or crown of plants. Arrange for large-scale mulch installation with our Landscaping Department.
Consider applying a dormant spray to plants that struggled with insect or fungal problems this season; Roses, Dogwoods, Lilacs, and Fruit Trees will especially benefit from dormant season control of overwintering pests and diseases.
Drain and store hoses before freezing temperatures arrive.
Schedule an irrigation system winterization with our team of specialists. Proper winterization will prevent damage to your underground lines, spray heads, and drip irrigation, saving time and money come Spring.
Harvest fall turnips, lettuce, and spinach.
Plant Blueberries, Cane Berries, and Fruit Trees this month to take advantage of cool, rainy weather. Amend soil with Soil Conditioner to improve drainage if planting in heavy clay. G&B Acid Planting Mix is perfect for Blueberries.
Plant cover crops for soil building (last chance this season). You can also use a 3- to 4-inch layer of chopped/shredded leaves spread over garden plot to eliminate Winter weeds, suppress early spring weeds, and prevent soil compaction from rain.
Mulch veggie garden beds after a hard frost. Protect tender greens and Fall crops from heavy freezes with cold frames and frost protection cloths.
Prepare to apply dormant spray to fruit trees and ornamentals by purchasing or locating necessary products and sprayer supplies; apply dormant sprays 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)
Treat Peaches four weeks after leaf fall; spray for peach leaf curl and shot hole diseases.
November Lawn Care
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 lawn drainage improvements are needed, contact our Landscaping Department to learn more about your options for improving drainage in the landscape.
Clean and oil your lawnmower; service for tune-ups and sharpening as needed.
Indoor Gardening in November
Plant paperwhites and amaryllis for indoor seasonal color. Paperwhite flowers will open in 4–6 weeks, and amaryllis take about 6–8 weeks from planting to bloom. For extended bloom time, continue to plant them every 2 weeks while supplies last.
Learn more about Indoor Holiday Plants and their care!
What to Do for Fun in November
Create a holiday centerpiece, table arrangement, or wreath with cuttings from the garden: Use colorful berries like Beautyberry, seed heads, leaves with vibrant Fall color, stems for texture and bulk, and Fall-blooming flowers such as Camellias.
Join one of our Fall and Winter classes with a friend to learn more about seasonal plant care or make a fun DIY Winter Wreath!
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):