November from the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. is a time to wrap up gardening for a while, finish those up lingering to-dos and start enjoying hot fires and seed catalogs indoors. It’s also time to start thinking ahead and prepping for next year. Chores that are not completed this month might need to wait till the winter snows have eliminated, and soggy chores are not nearly as much pleasure as crisp fall chores. Plus, there are always added tasks to be done in early spring, and why burden yourself more later when you are able to get ahead now?
Join me as we check off a few chores in the backyard to-do list and then kick back to enjoy the winter ahead.
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The sun sets earlier every day in November; we are nearing the time of year when we wake up from the dark and come home in work in the same. It may be depressing, so be certain to delight in those sunsets when you’re able to. The drying plumes of ornamental grasses still standing are stunning when backlit.
Compost is a more difficult chore in winter, and a visit to the mulch pile may require boots. Try an indoor solution for daily cooking scraps, saving them for a once-a-week trek to the outdoor compost pile.
You could also think about stockpiling gardening materials in bulk this season. Leaves can be raked, dead plants can be composted and refreshing mulches may “ripen” over the winter. Create piles now, before temperatures dip, so winter freezes and thaws can work their own magic.
Jocelyn H. Chilvers
Speaking of leaves, you probably have more than you want lying around the lawn at the moment. Run them over with a lawn mower to nourish the grass below or go the traditional route and rake them. Add them to your compost pile or pile them onto a vegetable garden to offer the next season’s development a boost.
If you’re getting sunny and warm afternoons but the nights are freezing, you can still continue to your flowers. Snip the tops of fall mums and asters, pot them up and bring them indoors. You’ll get another flush of blooms in a few weeks and extend autumn only a little further.
Once the freezing nights strike, I am a potting machine. Everything from ginseng to bulbs to both cuttings and perennials gets moved and potted indoors. The problem is that I run out of pots! Get creative with tins, cans and other recyclables for little green bursts of life indoors.
This is also the time of year to keep on collecting seeds. Seed sellers on eBay are ending up collecting seeds from their houses, and you’ll be able to get the best choice and freshest seeds that month.
It is also time to stock up on gardening essentials from retail shops. The last of this backyard clearance sales are moving on now, and the deals are sweet. Pick up potting soil, soil amendments, tools and even seeds. Many seeds will continue to be good by next spring, and at 10 cents a packet, even if even half of these sprout, it is still a great thing.
Thrifty Decor Chick
To round out your completed chores, clean and oil your tools, drain gas-powered tools and get everything organized. While you’re in the garage, be certain to get that snow blower prepared and ready. Snow is going to be here before you know it (if it hasn’t hit).
Inform us how can you make your garden ready for winter?