Things you can do in November

Gardeners can easily find a lot to do out in the home landscape during November. As long as you can dig in the ground you can plant spring flowering bulbs. Retailers have been offering bulbs at some pretty good prices right now. The stores would rather sell the bulbs at a discount than have to deal with them later. The bigger the bulb, the deeper they can be planted. Two to three times their widest diameter is a good rule of thumb. Planted at this time of the year may mean that next spring the bulbs will be a bit delayed in emerging and flowering. By the following year, the bulbs will have caught up and bloom as expected.

Gardeners that routinely compost their yard waste will have compost available to add to the vegetable or perennial beds. In the vegetable garden turning under the compost with a garden spade or shovel is the best way to leave the soil surface really lumpy. That rough soil surface will be able to collect snow and also go through the freeze and thaw cycles which help condition the soil. While gardeners cannot turn under the composts in a perennial bed, it will act as mulch for the winter and keep shallow rooted plants and newly planted perennials from being heaved out of the soil from those same freeze and thaw cycles that benefit the open garden soil. The composts will continue to break down and work into the soil, releasing nutrients as they do.

Lawns have begun to slow down now that we are getting periods of colder weather, yet warmer days will allow them to continue to grow. Gardner's will need to continue to mow for a couple reasons. First of course is that the lawn is long enough that it needs to be mowed. The second reason is to keep the lawn cleared of leaves that could pile up and smother the grass. Some species of trees like oaks and maples like to hang on before dropping their leaves, Locust trees dropped their leaves long ago.

Before the garden hose is drained of water and coiled up for the winter, gardeners should remember to water newer plantings and established needle and broad leaved evergreens. A late season watering is the difference between having brown desiccated needles and leaves next spring and plants that remain green depending on our winter weather. Homeowners new to gardening should know that even though the hose spigot on the home is "frost free" means that you still need to remove the hose from the home to allow the spigot to clear itself water that would otherwise freeze and burst the spigot or worse a pipe in the interior of the home, both an expensive plumbing repair.

Lastly, as the mowing season really does draw to a close, clean up the lawnmower before storing for the winter. Clean the mower deck from any accumulated clips, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and run the mower to get conditioned fuel into the carburetor. Lightly oil any moving parts that could rust during the winter. Gardeners wanting to get ahead of a hurried spring can even sharpen the blade.