Thanksgiving is almost here and although you may be focused on turkey and stuffing, your garden is also calling. Get out in the yard, enjoy the sunshine and complete a few simple garden tasks now. You’ll thank yourself next spring.
Birds & Ponds
Clean and fill your bird feeders with suet and black oil sunflower seeds. Their fats and oils will help birds to survive cold winter temperatures. Place a net over your pond to keep leaves and critters out, and test your pond heater now before you need it.
If you have not done so already, pick up any debris that may have accumulated throughout the garden. This could include fallen leaves, branches and summer annuals that have died back. Now is also the perfect time to clean your shovels, rakes and other tools before closing up the shed for winter. And while you’re at it, move your snow shovels and snow blower—if you have one—to the front of the garage or shed. Snow will be here before you know it.
Light pruning is OK in November. Prune branches that are already broken or branches that are crossing and rubbing on each other. Leave plants such as black-eyed susans, purple coneflower, and other fruit and seed producing plants alone. Their seeds and berries will help to feed birds throughout the winter. I would also suggest you do not cut down ornamental grasses. They provide beauty and movement to the garden when it’s otherwise empty. Roses, lavender and hydrangea are plants that should not be cut down or pruned during this time of year.
Mulch acts like an insulator during winter months. Either purchase mulch at your local garden center or use your lawn mower to shred leaves from your yard. Place the mulch around your roses for winter protection.
Ceramics, clay pots and fountains should be emptied and covered or brought inside for winter so they do not break when filled with frozen snow and ice through the cold winter months.
Late fall is a great time to enjoy the warmth of a fire pit outdoors. Pull up the Adirondack chairs, put out some warm blankets, and invite family and friends over to enjoy a cool fall night.
Gardening does not end with Labor Day. If you’re willing, there are many things you can do throughout the fall and winter. This is not only good for the garden— it’s good for your soul. So get out there and get gardening!
Karen Musgrave, CNLP, is the marketing and education specialist at Hicks Nurseries.