November and December

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Chores and Maintenance

  • Prune and thin plants to enhance plant form 
  • Complete pruning of late-blooming trees and shrubs 
  • Mulch perennials, bulb beds after first freeze to protect from the soil thawing and refreezing - use salt hay, straw, pine needles, leaves, branches of Christmas trees 
  • Protect roses by mounding soil and adding organic mulch - straw or chopped leaves 
  • Mulch rhododendrons, azaleas, and laurel with oak leaves or leaf mold 
  • Water dogwood, broadleaf evergreens and newly planted trees until ground freezes 
  • Finish moving tender biennials and perennials to cold frame (pansies, English daisies, and campanulas)
  • Rake leaves off lawn areas and start a compost pile
  • Provide winter protection to newly planted shrubs to prevent desiccation 
  • Protect broadleaved evergreens by applying an anti-desiccant spray to the foliage and/or wrap in burlap
  • Use a broom to knock off heavy snow from shrubs

Plant and Transplant

  • Evergreens, deciduous trees and shrubs until ground freezes 
  • Tulips and lily bulbs until ground freeze 
  • In early November, start forcing bulbs indoors for the holidays (amaryllis, paperwhites) they take several weeks to bloom


Pest Control

  • Watch for vole activity; voles are most active October to March
  • Monitor houseplants over the winter for spider mite and mealybug 

Winter Project

  • Think about last season's garden - how it evolved and matured. 
  • Begin planning improvements by adding new plantings to enhance the garden staples with a variety of colors, textures, and sizes. 
  • Also try to include some new and unusual plants as featured in the new seed/plant catalog