November is often your last chance to do serious garden work in Ohio. If you haven’t readied your mowers and tools for winter storage, don’t delay, because November is apt to bring cold rainy weather and sometimes drops a snowy winter storm that would make garden chores downright difficult to accomplish.
This year November has been forgiving, and I can finish up some of the garden tasks that my busy October disallowed. My son can finish his assigned job of stacking our firewood.
One job I do in the fall is scout for bagworms. They are easy to see hanging on the trees they intend to devour next season. I pull them out and burn them in the fireplace stove, which starts up in brisk October and is going every day in chilly November.
This year I found a small Colorado Spruce dripping with them like a decorated Christmas tree. Bagworms tend to be found on the leeward side of the plants they target and this little spruce tree was in the shadow of a large Norway spruce.
November is time to finish up tasks.
Rake and dispose of your fall leaves, composting, burning, or bagging.
Ready any snow removal equipment.
Finish clearing any vegetable gardens.
Farmers turn up the ground at this time, and you can, too.
- If you have a plan for a living Christmas tree, dig the hole for it’s planting while the weather and ground are still open.
- Bulbs can still be planted
- Any time the weather allows you can still accomplish many of the chores that were not done in October, see October Chores
- Scout for bagworms
- Dig up and store your frost tender bulbs, such as dahlias, tuberous begonias, gladiolas, etc.
These are informative posts for November:
- oil and store your tools
- Finish planting your bulbs
- Put garden beds to rest for the next growing season which includes cleaning away any of the old foliage and mulching.
- Secure any of your compost piles if you have leaves that could blow away. Simply toss some earth on top, and add a bit of fertilizer to help it compost more readily.
- Clear your vegetable beds, put away any trellises or tutuers, they will last longer if not exposed to the elements (unless you love to look at snow covered hardscaping in winter… then leave them where they are.)
Few flowers are blooming still this month; the frosts have browned them all, except for the select few like my calendulas and the chrysanthemums. Flowering Kale can put on a show ’til well into the end of December.
Mulch newly planted perennials for winter protection, and to prevent heaving in the frosts. Remember to check for frost heaving throughout the winter, as well.
All tomato and pumpkin plants are goners. Make sure your decorative gourds are kept in a cool, dry place.
Time to clean the veggie garden beds for the next season. Debris left over winter only harbors insects and disease.
Some cold tolerant plants such as chard and kale will continue to grow and produce in this month.
Water well in November if October was dry and/or you forgot to give good watering then, to prepare for winter. November is the last chance to get ready for winter, you are running out of time before the ice, snow, and freezing cold makes garden work something planned for next season.
Clean your tools and store at the end of the month.
For more tips for this month:
Important: Find and Destroy Weed Seeds
Burrs, Thistles (except those left for goldfinches), ragweed, etc…gather and burn if you are allowed to burn in your area. Otherwise, bag them up and get rid of them. Weed seeds are very persistent and the more they proliferate, the harder your job as a gardener next year.