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Garden tips for November

By Ray Ridlen

Lawn and turf

Fertilize cool-season grasses like fescue with 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

Continue to mow fescue as needed at 3 inches and water during dry conditions.

Control broadleaf winter weeds like dandelions.

Keep falling leaves off fescue to avoid damage to the grass.

Tree and shrub

Prune deciduous trees in the early part of winter. Prune only for structural and safety purposes. Avoid pruning lower branches on young trees to help prevent sunscald damage of the trunk.

Two to 4 inches of mulch prevents dehydration injury to trees' roots.

Wrap young thin-barked tree trunks with a commercial protective material from the bottom layer of branches to the ground to prevent winter sunscald.

Apply a dormant oil product for scale-infested trees and shrubs before temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow label directions.

Continue to plant balled and burlapped trees.

Watch for arborvitae aphids. They tolerate cooler temperatures in evergreen shrubs.

Newly planted broadleaf evergreens such as holly, viburnum and others benefit from some type of windbreak to prevent desiccation of their foliage. Temporary windbreaks are more effective in preventing winter burn than are chemical anti-desiccants (anti-transpirants).


Tulips can still be successfully planted through the middle of November.

Leave foliage on asparagus, mums, and other perennials to help insulate the crowns from harsh winter conditions.

Bulbs like hyacinth, narcissus and tulip can be potted in containers for indoor forcing.

Flower and vegetable beds that remain empty during winter months can be tilled just before freezing temperatures. Hibernating insects are brought to the surface where they will be exposed to and killed by the cold temperatures.


Cut back on fertilizing houseplants in the winter.

Fruits and nuts

Delay pruning fruit trees until next February or March just before bud break.

Harvest pecans and walnuts immediately to eliminate deterioration of the kernel.


Plan for providing water to plants throughout winter when temperatures are above freezing.

Nitrogen fertilizer application after September may cause plants to produce succulent new growth that will be damaged by winter freezing.

Leftover garden seeds can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer until next planting season. Discard seeds over 3 years old.

Gather and shred leaves. Add to compost, use as mulch, or till into garden plots.

Clean and store garden and landscape tools, coat metal parts with a light application of oil to prevent rusting. Drain fuel tanks, irrigation lines and hoses. Bring hoses indoors.

Date: 11/19/2012

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