November Garden Checklist
Things gardeners need to be considering for November. The following is a garden checklist:
- Sometime after a hard freeze, cleanup your perennials by cutting back dead stalks leaving 2 to 3 inch stalks and replenish the beds’ mulch. Remove old mulch in areas where you had a severe disease problem or an insect infestation. Diseases and insects can certainly overwinter in the old mulch.
- The easiest method to have more perennials from one plant, is division. Dividing perennials is not difficult and can be done as the plant begins to decline this fall. A general rule, plants that bloom in the spring, should be divided in the fall, with fall bloomers divided in the spring. Summer performers can be done either season, but many choose fall for a stronger plant next season. As the plants enter dormancy, the plant will spend its energy establishing roots, and not foliage, thus giving you a stronger plant next growing season. Lift the plants that need division, and divide them using a sharp knife or spade, being careful to have a crown for each division.
- You can still plant garlic if you haven’t already. Garlic will grow roots through the winter and foliage will appear in February or March. Harvest next summer as tops begin to yellow. You can plant the culinary garlic you find in the grocery store.
- Fall is a good time to plant shrubs and trees in the landscape.
- If you have been needing to move some established plants around in the landscape, fall is the time to do so. Transplant deciduous plants after the leaves have dropped and evergreen plants can be transplanted after the first hard freeze.
- It’s time to replenish compost heaps with the ample supply of leaves. Remember to add some nitrogen to your layers of leaves for faster decomposition. You can use animal manure or commercial fertilizer for your nitrogen source. If you don’t have good directions on composting, call or come by the Extension office and we will be glad to give you a composting fact sheet with easy to follow directions.
- When planting pansies, and other winter annuals, be sure to use a fertilizer high in phosphorous. Superphosphate will work. This will stimulate root development which is needed to survive a cold winter. Pansies planted several weeks ago could use one more shot of nitrogen before winter sets in.
- Spring flowering bulbs need to be planted by early December. Later planted bulbs run the risk of not getting enough chilling hours to bloom properly especially if we have a mild winter. As a general rule, bulbs should be planted three times deeper than the diameter of the bulb.
- Don’t prune roses now. Fall pruning will encourage winter die back. Mulch roses up past graft union for winter protection.
- It’s not unusual to start seeing some spring flowering bulbs foliage starting to appear in the fall or early winter. Whatever you do, don’t cut off the foliage or you won’t have a flower next spring. Each bulb only contains one set of leaves, flowers and roots, and damaging these can damage your bulb. Simply ignore them, lightly mulch and wait for a bloom next spring.
- Recycle disease-free annual potted plants and potting medium by adding them to the compost pile or directly into the garden. Be sure to break up root balls from the plants.
- Clean up emptied pots with a 10 percent bleach solution to get rid of any plant pathogens.
- Winterize your irrigation system by following recommended procedures with your particular system. Remove hoses from outside nozzles to prevent freezing, but keep your hose handy for winter watering in those dry protected spots. Winterize ornamental ponds if needed and birdbaths if needed. Clay pots need to be put in dry storage, particularly those which are not sealed.
- A soil test of all garden plots is recommended at least every 3 years. This is a great time to get a soil analysis. You can make soil improvements this winter before spring planting begins.
- Some people have noticed fallen twigs from pecan and hickory trees. These twigs are no more than a half inch through and appear to have been cut off. This is damage done by an insect called twig-girdler. This beetle lays its eggs on the twig and cuts it off. This damage is more spectacular than damaging to the tree. The only control recommended is to pick up the twigs and then destroy them thus destroying their eggs.
- Apply the last nitrogen (N) application to your tall fescue lawn sometime in late November. Apply 1-2 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. of actual N. This would be 3-6 lbs./1,000 sq. ft. of 34-0-0. If you have been fertilizing well, use the lower rate of N.
For more information on any of the above points, contact the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension office at 425-2335.
By Mark Keaton
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mark Keaton
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
3 East 9th St. Mountain Home AR 72653
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