For Fresh Color

If recent cold weather has gotten to your summer container plantings, redo them with winter combinations for evergreen color and seasonal interest. Get pansies and violas planted soon too 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 (most tulips and daffodils require minimum of 14-16 weeks of cold); water thoroughly every few weeks and bring indoors when bulbs have rooted and they have spent enough time outside. Most bulbs will bloom 2-3 weeks after being brought indoors.

Plant paperwhites and amaryllis for indoor seasonal color; you’ll see flowers opening in 4-6 weeks for paperwhites, 6-8 weeks for amaryllis. For an extended bloom time, continue to plant them about every 2 weeks while supplies last.

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.

Keep controlling the slug population with traps or baits; Sluggo and Slug Magic are made with all-natural ingredients and are safe to use around edibles, pets, and kids.

Trim chrysanthemums to 4-6 inches tall after they finish blooming; hardy varieties will return in the spring. Once spring growth resumes, pinch mums back by about one third every 2-3 weeks until around the 4th of July; this causes the plant to branch with many flower buds that will open late summer or fall.

Allow ornamental grasses to stay up for the winter to add texture to your garden as well as food and shelter for birds and wildlife; trim them back in early spring before new growth begins.

Protect tender evergreens and new plantings from drying wind by spraying an anti-transpirant product like Wilt Stop or Moisture Loc or cover with lightweight fabric such as Harvest Guard.

For the Edible Garden

Harvest fall turnips, lettuce, and spinach; mulch garden after a hard frost. Plant garlic and shallot bulbs now for summer harvest. Use Malibu Compost and G&B Starter Fertilizer with bone meal.

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.

Be ready with cold frames and frost protection cloths; protect tender greens and fall crops from heavy freezes.

It is the last chance this season to plant cover crops for soil building. You can also use a 3- to 4-inch layer of leaves (chopped up or shredded by mower), spread over the garden plot, to eliminate winter weeds, suppress early spring weeds, and prevent soil compaction by 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

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.

Clean and oil your lawnmower; service as needed. Clean and sharpen tools before storing for winter. Drain and store hoses before freezing temperatures arrive.

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.

Call our Landscaping Department to arrange for fall cleanup services and/or winterization work at 503.777.7777.

Basic Pruning List

Autumn (September to mid-December)

Thin: Shrubs and trees only as needed (any other pruning may result in new growth that won’t harden off before winter)

Remove: Dead branches from trees and shrubs as needed; branches that may be damaged or 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 Fun

Create a holiday centerpiece, wreath, or Thanksgiving table arrangement by cutting things from the garden. Look for colorful berries and seed heads, leaves with vibrant fall color, and stems of greens to add texture and bulk to the arrangement. Beautyberry and fall-blooming camellias are two favorites!

Visit the Portland Japanese Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden, or Hoyt Arboretum to see blazing fall colors and to get inspired for future plantings (be sure to check hours and other details before visiting).

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