November ushers in the chilly weather and first snowfall of the season to many areas of the Ohio Valley. Gardening tasks this month focus primarily on winter preparation. Take advantage of those few remaining warm days to complete November maintenance in the garden.
November Ohio Valley Gardening
As you look around, you may be surprised to see a number of November gardening tasks still needing attention. Check out the following Central Ohio Valley to-do list for additional tasks.
Lawn and Trees
Removing autumn leaves from the lawn before snow falls tops the list for November gardening tasks this month. A few leaves are okay, but thick piles can smother the lawn and kill the grass. A covering of leaves also promotes snow mold and encourages rodent damage. Be sure to check these additional outdoor chores off your Ohio Valley to-do list before winter weather settles into the area.
Feed the lawn with a slow-release fertilizer. It helps maintain a greener lawn throughout the winter. Once leaves are down, check trees and shrubs for galls. Trim dead or undesirable branches. Apply protective measures to trees and reduce wintertime damage caused by deer and rodents.
November maintenance in the garden includes putting flowerbeds to rest for the year. By now, many mums and perennials have stopped blooming and most of the spring bulbs have been planted. Fewer weeds germinate in the fall, making autumn the perfect time to add flowerbeds in central Ohio Valley gardening regions.
Once temperatures have reached 20 degrees F. (-7 C.), it’s time to winterize those rose bush grafts with a thick layer of mulch, leaves, or fabricated rose cones. Water and deadhead mums and fall blooming perennials. If you cut them back, be sure to apply a heavy layer of straw, leaves, or pine needles to protect the roots.
Vegetables and Fruit
By this time, there should be very little November maintenance in the garden to do. Any remaining plant material, tomato stakes, or trellises can be removed.
If pests were a huge problem in the vegetable patch this year, consider fall tilling to reduce overwintering populations.
Crops, like carrots, which can be held in the ground during winter will benefit from a thick layer of mulch.
If adding garlic or horseradish is on your Ohio Valley gardening agenda, November is the month to do it. Dig and divide rhubarb plants. Once night temperatures reach 20 degrees F. (-7 C.), mulch strawberry plants with straw.
Utilize those cooler days this month to perform many November gardening tasks inside the garage or storage shed. It’s a great time to clean and organize tools as well as take stock of gardening chemicals and supplies.
Continue caring for houseplants, as many require less water and fertilizer throughout the winter. Of course, pot up those softwood cuttings which have sent out new roots.
Here’s a few more items to cross off your Ohio Valley to-do list this month:
- Pick a sunny day to disconnect and drain your hose for the year. The radiant heat will make it easier to roll up.
- Prep your snow removal equipment for the upcoming winter season. Have snowblowers tuned-up and mount snowblades on trucks or tractors. Fill equipment with fresh fuel.
- Clean gutters.
- Wash garden gloves.