November is the final month to prepare the garden for winter. It’s rather like tucking kids into bed at night: They’ve played all day, and now they’re tired. There is the bath-time ritual, followed by a quiet story before they float beneath the quilt for many blissful hours of relaxation — for both of you personally.
The backyard has been playing hard and growing for more than eight months. Now it’s time to have it clean and tidy until its winter break. Only a few hours spent in the garden this month will make certain you equally reach spring with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.
Keep gathering those leaves. One of the gorgeous aspects of fall is that the wonderful tapestry of autumn leaves is woven over a span of many months. Shades of crimson, amber and gold come and go as each tree and shrub requires its turn in the spotlight. For all of us, but it means that only when we thought we had finished sweeping up leaves, we must begin all over again. Consider it your November work out, grab your roster and gather nature’s black gold just as you did a month.
Jocelyn H. Chilvers
You’ve got many options: Insert leaves to your compost bin, then shred them with the mower and reapply them to a shrub edge as winter mulch or subtly corral them into a wire cage somewhere handy so you can spread them next year when they’ve decomposed into rich, dark mulch.
Protect your water features. A number of us are procrastinators, and some of us are just plain forgetful. This photograph shows what happens to fountains during a hard freeze either way.
To avoid creating such dramatic ice sculptures, remember to drain tiny fountains and either store them in the garage for winter or pay them to avoid water freezing and entering. Small submersible pumps will also be best removed and kept indoors until spring.
The Pond Pros Of Southern California
Larger ponds and waterfalls may have a sufficient volume of water cascading through them which the entire body of water won’t freeze, and the pump is either too deep to be affected or is in a secure enclosure aboveground. If you are uncertain, contact your regional pond supply firm for advice.
Jocelyn H. Chilvers
This is also the time to winterize your irrigation method. We utilize a very simple drip watering system for many of our containers in addition to for our vegetable garden. The hoses can be left in position, but we disconnect the battery-operated timers and bring them inside for the winter.
Landscape irrigation firms usually offer you a winter service to empty the lines if needed — contact them now.
Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates
Take care of your roses. Traditionally, rose pruning is performed in early to mid-February, but I also like to do a mini prune at this time of year — especially to taller roses.
I eliminate as much as a quarter of this rose height to prevent”wind rock.” In exposed areas taller roses can be vulnerable to being pushed around by strong winter storms, creating huge gaps in the soil level, which can then enable freezing rain, ice and snow to reach the roots. Lowering the height of the roses a little can prevent this.
Do not worry about cutting to an outward-facing marijuana, as you’ll be pruning correctly in spring.
I also apply several inches of good compost around the base of the roses as a winter blanket, not to be eliminated until the next growing season.
simplehuman Stainless Steel Compost Pail – $59.50
Insert a few inches of compost. I’m a lazy gardener. If I apply compost to the garden today, the rains will help its nutrients leach into the soil, and the worms will till it while I’m nice and comfy indoors. Some gardeners prefer to mulch in spring. If your garden soil is in poor shape, I recommend adding compost in both autumn and spring for three decades and then once a year after that. Both seasons have their own pros and cons, so make it work for your schedule — just do it!
An appealing compost pail, like this one, will place food scraps to good use and lessen the number of treks out to the backyard compost bin.
Grow hardy edibles. It’s very satisfying to collect your vegetables in winter. Leeks, parsnips, cabbage, kohl rabi and Brussels sprouts are simply a few of the simple cool-season crops that could withstand winter chills. Provide a layer of floating row cover or a cold frame, and your options expand to add carrots, lettuce and much more.
If that seems like too much work, at least maintain an herb pot by the back door so it is possible to add some fresh parsley or rosemary to match your winter dishes.
Set up a container garden. Together with the scents of hot apple cider and homemade pumpkin pie wafting through your house, you know it won’t be long before friends and neighbors stop by. Welcome them with a vibrant container garden in your porch or patio.
It’s simple to spruce up existing plantings by tucking into a vibrant pumpkin or seasonal accent one of the foliage.
Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc
Starting from scratch? Look for warm-colored foliage — coral bells (Heuchera) are a great choice and come in a number of colours, from lime to mahogany, because you can see in this photo.
Among my current favorites is ‘Delta Dawn’ (centre ), which is a wonderful colour of buttery yellow accented with rosy hues.
The fall fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) is just another mainstay for autumn, using its fronds turning to shades of copper as temperatures drop.
To get just a little pizzazz, ‘Goshiki’ false holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus‘Goshiki’), shown here, can be depended on for good color in sun or partial shade. Its holly-shaped green and yellow variegated foliage partners well with vivid gold conifers and vibrant heathers.
Become a kid again. I visited a pumpkin farm last weekend. I felt a bit silly really. There were all these young families with excited toddlers on a treasure hunt to find the perfect pumpkin to carve, tottering through the rustling corn maze and playing on the old tractors. I began to wonder whom I could”borrow” a kid from!
But of course you are so old as you feel. So you’ll find me crawling through the gourd tunnels, looking for the wartiest pumpkin and kicking through the leaves with the kids.
Fall is for pleasure — have a superb month.
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