General Garden Care

November

MulchAdd 2 to 4 inches of shredded leaves, composted manure, or garden compost to perennial borders and garden beds once the ground has frozen completely.

Continue to feed the compost pile with grass clippings and dried plant material removed from garden beds. Avoid adding diseased plants to the pile. Turn the pile regularly to speed decomposition.

Before temperatures go below freezing, disconnect outside water sources, drain hoses, and store indoors. Sharpen and oil tools. Store all unused herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and chemicals in original, labeled containers. If cardboard containers have become wet, consider disposing of the product. Avoid storing chemicals in unmarked plastic or glass containers because it’s too easy to forget what they are. Check expiration dates on products to be sure they’re still viable.

Clean birdbaths, but try to maintain a water supply for birds over winter. Small heating coils can be used in stone birdbaths to prevent water from freezing.

Clean and refill bird feeders. Regularly cleaning and rinsing bird feeders is essential to prevent spread of disease.

All ceramic, cement, or terra cotta containers should be emptied, cleaned, and stored in a frost-free space. Soilless mix from containers can be stored in a pile outside and combined with equal parts fresh mix for next year’s containers.

In the event of snowfall, avoid using salt-based de-icing products in or around garden areas. Shovel snow before it freezes on sidewalks and sprinkle sand on walkways close to plantings.