November is a time when we enjoy family, eat lots of good food and spend time outdoors before Old Man Winter makes his debut.
There are still a lot of gardening activities that can be enjoyed. It is a good month to plant trees, harvest greens and put much of the garden to bed for the upcoming colder months by weeding, mulching and composting.
Most perennials like coreopsis, coneflower and Black Eyed Susans can be cut back to a couple of inches above new growth. Now is a good time to divide and transplant perennials to new spring locations if needed. Make sure you mark where you plant before the plant goes dormant.
Mulch roses well for the winter for added protection and cut back any dead or old stems that might need trimming.
Now is the time to get those spring blooming bulbs like tulips, hyancinth and daffodils into the ground. Mix a little bone meal into the soil when planting for some added nutrients. Dig out summer bulbs like dahlias, elephant ear and caladiums if you want them to survive the winter. Clean, dry and store them in peat in a cool, dry location.
Plant some hardy annuals like pansies and English daisies for color throughout the season. Sow and plant seeds of larkspur and cornflowers for a flush of color in the spring.
If you have some areas where you seek privacy, plant some good screening trees like magnolia, hemlock, arborvitae and Cryptomeria. Be sure new plants are evenly mulched (no mounding around trunks as this can cause root rot).
Water deeply and frequently during drier months. Dig holes at least twice as wide as the root ball and plant trees at the same level they were planted in their containers.
Now is a good time to fertilize a Bermuda or fescue lawn. Blow and rake fallen leaves and acorns regularly from newly planted fescue lawns. Also if you want to lay down fescue sod, this is an ideal time. Remember to water adequately on both new bermuda and fescue turf. One inch per week is good.
All of those delicious leafy greens are the sweetest this month. If you planted kale, turnip, collards or mustards late summer, do some “cut and come again” harvesting for a new flush of greens all winter. Plant some English peas for harvest later.
The vegetable garden may need some lime. If necessary to get the garden ready for late winter and spring planting, get a soil test done at the Extension office. This result will give the correct amount of lime needed for correct pH and how much to apply.
Enjoy those beautiful sasanqua camellias blooming right now. Go out and buy camellias to plant now for a beautiful show next year. Bring the flowers in to float in centerpieces for your home décor.
Remember to bring in your plants that will not survive the cold temperatures. Make sure the soil is treated for insects and the plants are sprayed for any insect damage that might occur. Bring in ferns to overwinter. Ferns can be divided and replanted and put in a sunny spot to hang inside.
Thanks to the Georgia Gardener calendar.
Wanda Cannon is a Master Gardener trained through the Hall County program and also serves as Master Gardener coordinator and horticulture assistant for the Hall County Extension office. Phone: 770-535-8293. Her column appears biweekly and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.