GARDEN COLUMN: November gardening tasks | Home & Garden

“The first flowers of spring always make my heart sing. “ – S. Brown

I couldn’t believe it was November when I was out on the first weekend of the month. My husband and I were able to work outside in short sleeves while we dug our dahlia bulbs. Now all of the tender bulbs have been hollowed out and will spend a few weeks “cleaning up” before I store them for the winter. Typically, I should have completed this task in October. I’m late but I’m going to plant some garlic bulbs this afternoon. I was waiting for it to get cold enough so that they didn’t germinate.

Here are some other November chores you should consider doing or finishing before it gets too cold. In the vegetable garden, finish clearing it. It may be tempting to leave the old foliage of your plants in the garden, but all that dead plant debris is just a hiding place for diseases and insects. Instead of plucking your beans and peas, cut them back to ground level so their nitrogen-fixing roots can feed next year’s vegetable crop. If you have decided to leave some of your root vegetables like carrots, parsnips or leeks in the group, straw them with a straw. Mark their location with large stakes and they will be ready and easy to find for winter digs. I started a new asparagus bed last spring, you need to protect the crowns and this can be done with straw or shredded leaves – of which I have a lot. Get the last of the hardy vegetables from your garden. This includes Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and other late fall greens. They can still produce in temperatures as low as 25 degrees, so keep an eye on the weather and enjoy it for as long as you can. I finally just pulled out my broccoli and kale because I just wanted to clean that particular garden bed. If you have summer raspberries or blackberry canes that have produced fruit, you can cut them down to the ground. The side branches of the black raspberry can be cut to about 15 inches.

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