November Gardening Tip

Fall perennial garden:

nov1_lgAs the first frost starts to blacken the annuals and perennials, it is time for a major cleanup. Start by removing all annuals by the roots, if you can. Remove all dried up stems and foliage that look bad on all perennials; also clean up all leaf debris that has blown into the garden and pull or cut back all weeds. Some people like to leave ornamental grasses standing in the garden for a little structure and aesthetics during the winter months. As the snow hits these clumps, it smashes them down and breaks them up; as the winter winds pick up, it blows this debris all around the garden making it much harder to clean up in the spring. So we do recommend either cutting them or tying them up in the fall. Cutting them also keeps rodents from making nests in these clumps because they are more exposed to the weather. Pick up any limbs or twigs that have fallen, pull out any stakes or supports that were used on the perennials and store them for use next year. Move any decorative pots, statuary, or water feature items to the interior so they don’t crack in the cold weather.

Fertilize trees and shrubs:

By this of the year most trees and shrubs are in their dormant stage. This is the best time of year to fertilize them. For shrubs get a granular, slow-release fall / winter fertilizer applying it directly to the root zone for the snow and rain to move it into the ground over the winter. Be sure to use the amounts indicated on the product label, this will insure that the fertilizer will be at the plants root zone when the plant needs it in the spring. There are also products made for acid-loving plants such as hollies and evergreens. With trees the best way is tree spikes. These spikes are made just for trees and contain the nutrients and the micronutrients that the plants need to grow. These spikes are inserted in the ground at the drip line of the tree, check product label for the amount to be used according to the caliber of the tree. [Read more…]