November marks the start of the holiday season with Thanksgiving. Here are some ways to ensure your home, lawn, and garden are looking their best for when company is over or you are simply in your yard enjoying the colors of fall:
- Fertilize your lawn with a slow-release fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen and carbohydrates. This will help the lawn survive over winter and “green-up” quicker in the spring.
- Some states have rules on when you can apply fertilizers. One of the common cut-off dates for fertilizer applications is November 15th, so know your local legislation.
- Remove any fallen branches or leaves from the lawn. Debris left over winter can damage the turfgrass and even cause snow mold.
- Perform a soil test to determine if you need to add soil conditioners to your lawn. You can reference last year's soil test as well.
Indoor Plant Care
- Create an indoor herb garden to enjoy herbs all-year long. An herb garden is also a unique way to bring a splash of color indoors during the time of year when many plants have died or gone dormant.
- Check that houseplants aren’t placed in areas with a draft as colder temperatures can damage houseplants.
- During the colder months there will be less sunlight, so make sure your houseplants are receiving the proper amount.
Tree & Shrub Maintenance
- Prune any dead or dying branches from trees and shrubs to prevent damage they could cause during winter storms.
- Dig a hole for your Christmas tree if you plan on purchasing a bare-root Christmas tree. It’s easier to dig holes now when the ground is still soft. Make sure you mark and cover the hole so as to avoid any injuries from someone falling in.
Fruit and Vegetable Gardening
- Harvest the remainder of your parsley by cutting it down to the crown. Put the parsley into a plastic bag and freeze it until it’s time for holiday cooking.
- Finish using apples by chopping them up, adding sugar and spices, and freezing the mix. You can easily pull it out and add it to a pie crust for a quick apple pie during the busy holiday season.
- If you haven’t planted garlic yet, you can still squeeze it in before the winter comes.
Flower & Bulb Preparation
- Last chance to plant your bulbs. The good news, they’re probably on sale at your local independent garden center.
- Bring in and over-winter geraniums, mandevillas, and dipladenias.
- Broadcast wildflower seeds now to establish a hummingbird, butterfly, and bird haven.
Maintenance & Other Items
- Continue to provide water for the birds by rotating the water in bird baths.
- Clean bird feeders and fill them with seed or suet. If squirrels like to raid the feeders try mixing the bird seed with cayenne pepper. Mammals are subject to the pepper, but birds are not. Be careful not to breathe in the cayenne or touch your eyes after handling the pepper, and wash your hands thoroughly.
- Clean beds and borders by trimming dead foliage, uprooting weeds, composting the remaining leaves, and cultivating beds for spring. Your house will look prettier for holiday decorations, too.
- Unhook the garden hose and outdoor water features from the faucet and drain them. Otherwise, they may freeze and burst.
- Drain and stabilize the gas in any motorized garden tools.
- Consider painting “spent” pots with holiday colors and filling them with festive plants.
- Now is a great time to assemble a winter emergency car kit, just in case.