Garden Cleanup — With the recent high winds, many folks have been out performing the usual autumn chores of raking and cleaning leaves. It is a good time to rake fallen debris from under fruit trees and roses to prevent them from harboring insects and disease over winter months. Remove frost-bitten annuals or unproductive plants from the garden and flowerbeds. After all leaves have fallen, it is a good time to spread pine needles or mulch for the coming winter. Fallen leaves are great for adding to compost piles.
Composting — Now is a great time to start composting, if you aren’t already composting. Compost is a great amendment for vegetable gardens and flower beds. All you need is an out-of-the-way spot to put leaves, grass clippings, spent flower and vegetable plants and vegetable trimmings from the kitchen. A bin or fence is not necessary, but it will keep leaves from blowing back into your yard and keep the compost contained. Add a little soil to provide bacteria, then water, stir the pile occasionally and Mother Nature will do the rest.
Planting — November is a great time to plant camellias and other types of trees and shrubs. During this time be sure to water well until the plants are established. Planting in fall allows the root systems to begin establishing over winter.
Raised Beds — Raised beds are a great idea for areas with difficult soils. They can be built on top of the ground and then filled with organic amended soils. Select a sunny site and construct the frame as a bottomless box. I recommend using either locust or cedar wood for long-term natural rot resistance. Treated wood may leach unwanted chemicals into the soils. They are great for growing salad greens and strawberries.
Bird Feeders — As birds migrate south for winter, they will need food for flight. I know there are a lot of bird lovers and bird watchers in Stokes County. Keep bird feeders filled this time of year and make sure fresh water is replaced in birdbaths often. Local over-wintering birds will sure appreciate the extra food and water, too. As the weather gets colder, don’t forget about your furry friends, too.
Hoses — Be sure to drain and disconnect water hoses before winter arrives to prevent them from cracking.
I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving. Enjoy your time in the garden and plant some happy memories!! Happy Gardening!