November Gardening Tips

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(Taken from article prepared by Jessica Strickland Wayne County CES Agent.)

November is here, which means our minds will soon be on preparing for the holiday season. However, there are still tasks that can be accomplished in the garden this time of year. Below are several gardening tips that can help you prepare your garden for the winter season.

General Gardening Tips

  • It is a good time to get your soil tested for next season. Forms and boxes can be obtained from the local Cooperative Extension office. Get your soil samples in before the Thanksgiving holiday (sample free April – November)! The seasonal $4.00 sample fee runs December through March. More info on soil sampling.

Child kneeling over garden bed collecting soil for soil sample. Next to them is a soil sample log and collection box.


  • Remove fallen leaves from lawns as soon as possible to provide ample sunlight for the lawn. Piles of leaves can become wet blankets that smother your lawn.
  • If you have not already done so, apply a pre-emergence herbicide to your lawn to prevent winter weeds.
  • For monthly lawn maintenance calendars

Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers

  • November is the time to be planting spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and tulips.
  • Clean up rose beds. Be sure all diseased leaves are raked up and disposed.
  • Check cypress and other evergreens for bagworms. Remove and destroy bagworm capsules to reduce next year’s pest population.
  • After chrysanthemums have stopped blooming, cut stems back close to the ground and dispose of stems and all dropped and dried leaves and branches.
  • Force paperwhite narcissus bulbs to flower by planting them indoors in shallow pots of pebbles and water so they will be ready as blooming presents in time for Christmas.
  • Bring out the bird feeders and stock them with birdseed for the birds. Remember to provide fresh water for them throughout the winter months.
  • Take hardwood cuttings of some shrubs such as hollies, forsythia, viburnum, and quince early this month. Bruise the base of the cutting, dip in a rooting hormone, and plant in a sandy soil mix.
  • For a more in-depth gardening calendar.

A calendar depicting the best times for landscape management.

Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs

  • Till your vegetable garden to expose many insect pests to birds and winter cold, reducing the numbers in next year’s garden.
  • A good clean up of fruit trees can reduce future problems. Keep mulches pulled back several inches from the base of trees to prevent bark injury from hungry mice and voles. Pick and clean up fallen, spoiled, or mummified fruits to prevent diseases and insects from overwintering.
  • Order fruit trees, grapevines, and blueberries this month for a February or March delivery and planting.
  • Time to trim existing asparagus foliage. Cut to the ground after the foliage is killed by frost.
  • Be sure not to store apples or pears with vegetables. The fruits give off ethylene gas which speeds up the breakdown of vegetables and will cause them to develop off flavors.

A garden bed with asparagus plants growing in it. The plants are bushy and tall.

If you have additional questions about lawn, garden, and landscapes, please contact Daniel Simpson at 252-745-4121 or