What To Do In The Garden In November

Gardening, in November? It might not seem like it, but there are still plenty of gardening tasks to do, leaves to rake, bulbs to plant, and bird feeders to set up or clean. Late autumn — while the weather is cool —but before colder winter weather sets in is the perfect time to do it.

The weather can make gardening tasks vary widely from region to region. Obviously, some tasks will depend on whether the ground is still workable, but not all of them. Let’s take a look at what to do in the garden in November.

What to do in the garden in november

1. Rake leaves and make leaf mulch.

The leaves that drop from trees each autumn are a gardener’s best friend. They’re packed with trace minerals that trees have drawn up from deep within the soil. Adding leaves to the garden not only adds these nutrients back into the ground, but they also become food for earthworms and beneficial microbes.

Related Reading: Gardening Uses for Fall Leaves

A thick layer of mulch insulates plants and soil from harsh winter conditions but don’t just pile a bunch of leaves in your flowerbeds: Using whole leaves or too many can form a thick layer that makes getting water to the roots and soil below almost impossible.

Instead, make leaf mulch. Just run a lawnmower over the leaves until shredded into small pieces. This will help them break down more easily. Cover well-established trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds with a two to three-inch-thick layer of the leaf mulch for winter protection. Another big leaf benefit? Using leaf mulch saves you money because the leaves are free. Nothing is cheaper than free.

what to do in the garden in november

2. Continue to weed garden beds and trim back dead plants.

I’m sorry to have to tell you this but, you might still have to weed the garden in November depending on where you live. As in any other season, removing weeds prevents germination in warmer weather. Want a healthy spring garden? Weed in autumn.

Cut back dead plants and either compost it in place — chopping the plant matter into small pieces that break down over time — or place them in a compost pile. Don’t compost diseased plants. Instead, remove any diseased plants and discard. But be careful when trimming back dead plants, not every dead plant should be removed. Dead stalks, tall grasses, and seed heads on flowers should be left standing to provide food and shelter for wintering birds.

What to do in the garden in november

3. Plant bulbs.

Don’t miss out on your chance to have a blooming spring garden, plant your bulbs now. Not only do flowering bulbs offer a vibrant display of color to usher in springtime, but they also provide pollinators like bees and butterflies with their first source of food.

A good rule to follow is to plant spring-blooming bulbs when the average night temperatures are around 40 to 50 degrees. The soil will then be the perfect temperature for planting bulbs into their cozy winter home. Plant daffodils, crocus, grape hyacinths, starflowers, buttercup bulbs, tulips, or other flowering bulbs now and be rewarded abundantly later.

What to do in the garden in november

4. Harvest and protect the garden.

While the majority of the autumn harvest may be over in many places, there are still some crops to harvest in November. The following vegetables are ready to be collected, eaten, and enjoyed:

You’ve already covered your established trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds with leaf mulch and harvested the autumn crops; now it’s time to protect what’s left in the vegetable garden. Cover growing vegetables with a row cover or cold frame to protect them from harsh winter elements.

You can even plant new crops (depending on your region), just be sure to keep them covered. Check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine which plants will thrive in which zones. Here’s a list of crops you can still plant in November to help get your garden started.

Related Reading: How to Plant a Winter Container Garden

what to do in the garden in november

5. Help backyard animals prepare for winter.

Autumn is a busy season for backyard animals who are preparing their homes and food stores for the cold months ahead. It’s a good time to get your feeding stations ready for winter. Remember, birds and other small animals need food and fresh drinking water, even in colder months.

Wash and disinfect existing bird feeders and bird baths. Check them for damage, and repair or replace as needed. Winterize birdbaths by adding an immersion-style heater to keep the water from freezing. It’s a good idea to put one source of water high up for birds and climbing animals like squirrels, and another lower on the ground for non-climbers like rabbits. If you don’t have a birdbath, use a small dish or water or make your own.

Related Reading: How (and Why) to Clean Your Winter Bird Feeder

Help animals find shelter by making piles of branches and brush in an out-of-the-way corner of the garden for small animals like birds, reptiles, and insects to take cover. Birdhouses, squirrel houses, and bat boxes can also provide much-needed shelter from the elements.

How do you prepare your garden for winter? Do you have a tip? Share it in the comments!

Related at Care2

Photos: Thinkstock

92 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S14 days ago

thanks

SEND
Jerome S
Jerome S14 days ago

thanks

SEND
Jerome S
Jerome S14 days ago

thanks

SEND
Jerome S
Jerome S14 days ago

thanks

SEND
Jim V
Jim Ven14 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Jim V
Jim Ven14 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Emma Z
Emma Z17 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Stephanie s
Stephanie sabout a month ago

Thank you

SEND
Hannah A
Past Member about a month ago

Good to know. Thank you.

SEND
Kayla M
Kayla Mabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing!

SEND