Playing in Dirt: Gardening doesn't shut down in November

November 12, 2017 1:06:51 AM

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I don't know about you, but November is one of my favorite months. Who can resist the warm redolence of turkeys roasting, pumpkin pies baking and many other traditional aromas of the season?  

 

If you are a serious gardener, this is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labors. If you just like "playing in the dirt," then you can still enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor. It's really all about tradition. If you'd like to begin some new traditions in your life, consider becoming a Master Gardener. Now, I only claim to be a member of that esteemed organization. Still, the skills I have learned, the friends I have made and the satisfaction I have achieved since becoming a member is beyond measure. The countdown has begun to the next class. Look for information about the class in January, or call the county Extension office for more information. 

 

You might think that November surely has no more opportunities for playing in the dirt, but you would be incorrect. Every month offers opportunities for that most sublime of pastimes. And no month is more or less important than any other. Some are just less busy, like November. Contrary to popular belief, this month for instance is the absolute best time to plant shrubs and trees. The cooler overnight lows offer plants the opportunity to establish really good root systems. And you might think that there is no color available for late fall and winter. This, too, is an incorrect assumption. Check the last paragraph for some ideas for winter color. 

 

 

 

In November 

 

· Plant -- Plant shrubs and trees. Plant summer blooming perennials: iris, daylily, and daisies. Plant winter and spring annuals: pansy, pinks, flowering cabbage and kale. Root rose cuttings. (Learn how with Master Gardeners.) 

 

· Water -- Water all newly planted trees and plants regularly. 

 

· Prune -- Remove dead limbs and prune evergreen shrubs. Cut off tops of brown perennials; leave roots in the soil. 

 

· Do not prune -- Spring flowering shrubs such as azaleas, hydrangeas, mock orange, spirea and flowering quince because flower buds are already forming. Delay pruning of most trees and shrubs until February since any new growth stimulated by pruning may be killed by a sudden freeze. 

 

· Miscellaneous -- Put leaves and spent annuals into a compost bin. Add mulch to your garden and all ornamental beds for winter protection. Repair and sharpen garden tools, store with a light coat of oil to prevent rusting. Build bird feeders and houses. 

 

· In bloom -- impatiens, cannas, roses, witch-hazel, Gerber daisies, sweet olive, camellias, sasanquas, Japanese plum and poinsettias. 

 

Happy playing!