Flowerland November Gardening Tips

Put the landscape and yard to bed for winter, fall cleanup, tipping pots (not cows!), preventing “southwest disease,” buy some fall plants. Grand Rapids, MI winter season is coming…

Time to put the landscape and yard to bed for winter. The last cut on the lawn is usually made around the first or second week of November. The last cut should be shorter than the mowing height used during the growing season so the grass doesn’t lie flat under the cover of snow. When the snow piles up, if the grass isn’t long you run less of a risk for both snow mold and vole problems.

Rake leaves off the lawn. Don’t allow leaves to mat down on the turf under the snow. Use a mulching mower to at least grind up the leaves finely. Leaves finely mulched by the mower are great for compost piles and for tilling into planting beds and gardens.

Tip pots upside down or put them into storage so they don’t collect water and break in freezing weather. Take apart fountains, store the pump and position the fountain so it doesn’t collect water causing freeze damage.

Keep some thawed soil in the garage or basement to use in planter boxes or barrels for arrangement of evergreen boughs and ruscus by mid-month. Many plants in the landscape can also be pruned for Christmas season arrangements like red twig Dogwood and willows.

Put tree wrap on the trunks of young trees to prevent “southwest disease” or splitting of the bark in winter. Chicken wire is also a good idea around the trunks of young trees to avoid rodent and rabbit damage. Set out vole traps and make sure the grass is not long in surrounding areas.

Allow roses to naturally shut down before winterizing. In most years, roses do not drop their foliage until mid-November. Soil mounding around the graft using rose collars or protection with rose cones should be done in November and not before. If using rose cones, make sure to provide some ventilation by poking pencil size holes in the styrofoam.

Get out some extension cords and lights for some Christmas decorating on days when the weather still affords somewhat comfortable working conditions. Take advantage of those opportunities in November when the “nice” days are generally few and far between!