The Gardener's November Calendar ~ 2016

  • Garden "Clean-up:" There's been a lot of talk through social media over the last few weeks about leaving portions of your garden wild this fall. Which means skipping the manicured garden look. I find that as each year goes by, I tend to leave more of the garden intact, but I just have to clean up the leaves that gather by my back door. (It's amazing how many can gather there in an afternoon.) Things I will do for the garden include piling leaves into raised beds to help improve the soil over the winter. Or cutting back some of the mangy-looking perennials, but leaving the hollow stems on top of my compost pile or along the back fence for insects to hibernate in. I'll leave my echinacea seed heads up to feed the birds. To read more about reasons to leave gardens somewhat intact over the winter, read this story, which features an awesome photo of a hidden bee, too. 
  • Sow milkweed. If you plan to sow milkweed seeds outdoors for plants next spring, now is the time to scatter those seeds so they can receive the stratification they need over the winter. For more milkweed growing tips, read more here.
  • Harvest dahlias. I don't have a basement to store my dahlias, and my garage is detached and gets too cold to store them successfully over the winter. Last year, after the frost killed the plants, I dug up my tubers, let the dry dirt fall off, and then stored them in a cardboard box by my front door for the entire winter. I had a 95% success rate of the tubers growing again this year. Periodically, over the winter, I would check to see if the tubers were shriveling up, and if they were, I'd mist them with a little water. It probably helps that we don't use our front entrance often (see the part about leaves gathering by my back door, above). 
  • Harvest caladiums, glads and cannas, too.
  • If you haven't yet done so, plant garlic. Cause if you are busy like I am, you haven't planted it yet, even though it should have ideally went in the ground a few weeks ago. For a quick refresher, click here
  • One final haircut. Give the lawn one final mow, and mow over the leaves. By doing this, they will decompose on top of the lawn, providing nutrients to the soil.
  • Bulbs! Finish planting them! Cause I know the discount rack is too good to pass up at this point! As long as the ground isn't frozen, plant plant plant!

  • Labeling. I'm hoping to order my first set of Plants Map engraved tags in the coming weeks, so I can label some perennials before I lose track of them over the winter. On the list to label? My growing hellebore collection, my lady's slipper, my winged false aster (which has been growing slowly from the seed I started last year), as well as the spot I grew milkweed this year.

  • Plant an amaryllis. Now is the time to start staggering bulbs for blooms this holiday. I've experimented in the past with this bulb, and my mom used to grow them, but I've been advised by many of my gardening friends to really embrace this flowering plant this winter. I'm planning to start with one ... but I have a feeling this may change!

I garden in Zone 6b of Central Connecticut.


Popular Posts