Most autumn leaves have fallen, mornings are crisp, and the first frost has come and gone, but there’s still plenty of time for Northeast gardening in November. Put on a jacket and head outdoors to take care of your gardening to-do list before the snow flies. Read on for helpful tips on November gardening tasks for the Northeast.
November in the Northeast
- If rain is scarce, continue to water trees and shrubs weekly until the ground freezes. Irrigate your lawn thoroughly, especially if summer has been dry or you’ve allowed the grass to go dormant.
- Cover perennial beds with 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) of straw or mulch after the ground has frozen to protect roots from free-thaw cycles that can push plants out of the soil. Mulch will also protect groundcovers and shrubs. Don’t pile mulch against the plants, as mulch may attract rodents that chew on the stems.
- There’s still time to plant tulips, daffodils, and other spring blooming bulbs if the ground is still workable. Leave healthy perennial stems and seed heads in place until spring to provide shelter and sustenance for birds. Remove and discard any diseased plant matter, don’t put it in your compost bin though.
- If you intend to plant live Christmas trees this holiday season, go ahead and dig the hole now, then put the removed soil in a bucket and store it where the soil won’t freeze. Fill the hole with leaves and cover it with a tarp until you’re ready to plant.
- Place hardware cloth around the base of young trees if rodents like to chew on the bark.
- Clean, sharpen, and oil garden tools and cutting blades before storing them for the winter. Run the gas out of the lawnmower, then service the mower and sharpen the blade.
- Mound soil around the crowns of rose bushes. Tie the canes to stabilize them in the event of hard winds.
- Clean up remaining garden debris. If it’s free of disease and pests, go ahead and toss plant matter on the compost pile, otherwise, it should go in the garbage can.