November’s gardening to-do list

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flowers and garden trowel

Although the first week of November in northeast Ohio brought with it temperatures in the 70s, winter is still approaching.

This month, you can pick up where you left off with October’s gardening chores and prepare for winter.

Harvest root vegetables

Related: December’s gardening to-do list

It may be time to harvest some crops if you have cold frames, row covers or planted cold-hardy crops. Cornell Cooperative Extension offers pointers about when to harvest garden vegetables, including fall-planted vegetables.

Thinking about extending your season into fall next year? Read about 5 season extenders here.

Lawn care

Fertilizing your lawn during fall has its benefits, according to Ohio State University Extension. If you haven’t already, have your soil tested and follow the fertilizer recommendations provided with your results. Wait until spring, before planting, to fertilize your garden.

raking leavesLeaving fallen leaves on your lawn benefits your soil and turf, says Sandy Barbic from the Summit County Soil and Water Conservation District. Over time, the leaves break down and form humus, which feeds trees, shrubs and other plants. Mulching leaves with your lawnmower will make them more easily digestible by worms, bacteria and other soil organisms.

Care for perennial flowers

wine colored mumsPerennial flowers like mums, coneflowers, hosta and daylilies can be overwintered. Farm and Dairy online columnist Ivory Harlow explains that now is the time to divide perennials and prune foliage.

Apply mulch around perennials to insulate roots during cold weather. As long as perennials were fertilized in the spring, you don’t have to fertilize again in the fall.

Last chance to plant bulbs

Depending on where you live, you may still be able to plant hardy perennial bulbs. Ohio State University Extension says that bulbs should be planted before the ground freezes. In Ohio, the best planting times have passed for some flowers, so survival through winter isn’t guaranteed

Ivory Harlow offers more tips for planting bulbs here.

Plan ahead

For some gardeners, it’s never too early to think ahead to next year’s growing season. Think about the areas of your garden that were either too wet, too dry, didn’t get enough sun, etc. and determine what your best plan of action should be for next year. Consider which plants you want to grow and their recommended growing conditions. Then, you can decide how your garden should be laid out.

heirloom seed packets
Photo by: ParentingPatch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a listing of seed companies (in both the U.S. and Canada) with online and/or print seed catalogs. Take a look at your options and begin thinking about what you can plant in the spring.

Performance, place and space all play a factor into the seeds you choose to grow. Ivory Harlow breaks down the differences between heirloom and hybrid seeds and offers guidance for choosing the right seeds for your garden.

Like other garden seeds, heirloom seeds have been preserved for specific purposes and grow well in certain climates. Here are some facts to consider when looking to grow heirloom varieties.

5 more posts about fall gardening:

Have any other gardening tips for November, or any questions? Let us know in the comments section.

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