Saturday, November 1, 2008

To Do List for November 08

Hi Everyone! Happy November to you all! I am posting a picture of my bountiful gourds in honor of Thanksgiving this month. I recently harvested them. Do you see in the picture the one big gourd has begun turning brown on the bottom? I noticed this while it was still growing on the vine so thought it best I harvest them now. It is nothing to worry about, it is simply part of the process the gourds go through to dry. I had never left my gourds on the vine for so long and was not used to this process starting now. I was very startled to find all of the light colored gourds had already begun drying, as they were very light.

If you haven't already harvested your summer crops (tomatoes, gourds, peppers, eggplants, beans, cukes, squash, and melons) then you may be too late, as summer is over and these crops are most likely gone by now. All gardens are in a state of change but once November is over the gardening season really slows down. Here are some things I am doing or planning to do in my garden this month.

1) Aerate my fescue lawn (after a good rain)

2) Apply a low nitrogen winterizer to the lawn once aeration is complete

3) Weed the lawn and garden beds

4) Plant spring blooming bulbs

5) Rake the lawn

6) Mulch all the beds with raked leaves from the lawn. If you have leaves that naturally fall into garden beds-leave them there. The best mulch is a natural Mother Nature mulch. For the beds that lack natural leaf litter, I try to place 3-5 layers of newspapers under the leaves before I apply the leaves. Sometimes I chop the leaves with the lawnmower and sweep them up, sometimes I just rake whole leaves into the garden. I have used this same method for the last 5+ years with great results.

7) Compost extra leaves.

8) Clean out veggie garden and apply a good layer of compost (at least 1" is best but apply whatever you can!).

9) Determine now where you will plant your summer crop next spring. This is very important. Sometimes you forget where you grew tomatoes by the time next spring rolls around. If you go ahead and mark it for a crop like cucumbers now you'll be sure to get it right next year and practice good crop rotation. There is also another good reason for planning next summer's vegetable garden now. If you plant a fall/winter crop like garlic, garlic will still be in the ground when planting time comes around in the spring for your summer garden. I try to interplant my beds. To do this I have to plan for both garlic and perhaps tomatoes to grow in the same bed. It is important to effectively plan the use of your vegetable garden space if, like me, you have a small vegetable garden.

10) I will, as time permits, begin pruning my hardwoods late in the month all the way to February. I prefer to limb up my trees and do a bit of lateral pruning to shape them the way that is pleasing to me. This task is an immense task because it involves chain saws, ladders, and trucks to haul away the debris. Fortunately this is not a normal yearly recurring event in my garden. Once I have it the way I like it, other than trimming dead or crossing branches very minor trimming will be required. Unfortunately I am noticing that due to last year's freeze and subsequent drought, many of the trees have put out numerous suckers which detract from the overall shape and openness of many of my trees. This also needs to be rectified with prudent pruning. Too many prus here huh?

11) Now is a good time to begin making crafts for the garden. I plan on making a bunch of hypertufa pots, and flower boxes for my porch. I also have in mind to make a few rain barrels, and wooden flat boxes for seedling trays. Of course, much of this has been on my To Do list for a few years so we shall see what I accomplish. Getting started is the hardest part.

12) You can continue to plant trees and shrubs this month with no adverse effects to the tree or shrub. Fall planting is best. The roots will continue to grow as long as the soil is a bit above freezing (say 40 degrees). Make sure your newly planted treasures have plenty of moisture if the weather is dry.

13) Some gardeners apply an anti-desiccant to their evergreens. I am not one of them. If you are, start thinking about applying it at this time.

14) Apply systemic tree and shrub insecticides/pesticides at this time. I am a big fan of Bayer's Advanced Tree and Shrub Care. This has helped my azaleas tremendously. I hope it will also help my little birch to fight off the million caterpillar Army next summer. We'll see. Follow instructions closely. Always use protective gear.

15) Collect seeds.

16) This is the time German chamomile is germinating. Also Love in a Mist and some other spring bloomers such as hollyhocks and foxgloves are showing growth. Do not pull these at this time by mistakenly thinking they are weeds.

17) If you prune roses in the fall, now is the time. I do not normally prune mine until February.

18) Prune camellias after bloom if you have the fall bloomer.

19) Weed your lawn. Someone asked me at a recent talk I gave just what can be done in the garden in the winter. I had to think about that as it seems I am always busy in the garden in the winter but not sure of what it was I was doing all the time. Certainly not deadheading, or pulling weeds, but busy nonetheless. After much contemplation I realized my two biggest chores in the winter time are digging weeds (by hand with a handy fishhook) from the lawn, and pruning my trees. I will also do some hardscaping and maintenance issues too.

20) Remove and dispose of peony foliage.

Hope this helps. It is only a guide and I will adjust it as I go along. If anyone has some suggestions to add to it, by all means let me know. And let's say goodbye to summer and the flying flowers for good now. Okay, not for good, just until the next good picture to post comes along:)

in the garden....


  1. It looks as if you will be very busy and busier than I plan to be.

  2. Raking, raking and more raking. Pretty pictire of the butterfly.

  3. Les, Pretty busy for sure! I take some time off when it is so hot and dry, now is the perfect time in the garden for me.

    Dawn, Raking here too! But I really like it. My frontyard is doable in one quick rake session. The back is usually swept but oh do I love those leaves. Thanks on the picture. The orange doesn't go with the pink but I loved the photo anyhow. ttyl

  4. Tina,

    That is a list! This is still planting and watering time for me; but mulching and moving leaves around will consume a lot of time. Then there is the dark forest behind my house...the paths need to be cleaned out!


  5. Good morning Gail! Looks like another lovely day indeed. Yes, those paths. I think I would just wait until all the leaves finally fall to clean them. The same happens here. I sweep them off and the mess comes right back. Like washing the dishes, it never goes away:(

  6. A lot of good info Tina. I enlarged the picture & older ggs is sitting here with me & wanted to know who took the awesome picture of the butterfly!!! He really liked it.

  7. Talk about a fright after Halloween. Raking leaves... argggg, that is one task I dont care to think about much less do in our yard. We have tons of trees that have started to drop their leaves weeks ago and will continue to do so until the end of December and some years, into January! Toughest job in the fall/winter months is leaf removable around here. Not looking forward to that job… Speaking of trees, today is limb from the ground removal and maybe a bon fire to boot. Not really looking forward to all that bending over today but has to be done….. Never ending with tons of trees in the yard but we do enjoy our trees and what they do for us…..

    Pretty flying flower! Looks like a Gulf which seems to have been the most popular butterfly in our yard this year. Love them beauties…

  8. Thanks for the tips. I keep raking, and the leaves keep falling. But instead of raking them from the beds. Now, per your instruction, I shall leave them.

  9. I have never raked leaves in the fall as they are great for wherever they fall. Come spring there are few left in the yard at all. Mother nature does a good job.

  10. Lola, I am so glad the boys liked my butterfly:)

    Skeeter, WHAT is limb from the ground? Are you limbing up? That is a rough chore indeed. Bonfires are fun. Keep ya warm.

    Brenda, Yes, do leave the leaves. What's up with all these leaves?:) Mother Nature takes care of, just like my mother says. Funny just how fast those leaves disappear.

    Mom, You are so right! Those leaves do disappear very fast. I always wonder where they all go too.

  11. Hi Tina - thanks for stopping by at my place!

    You're putting me to shame - I haven't even thought about what needs to be done this month yet! Best get cracking...

  12. What a list of things to do for the month. I'm exhausted just thinking of it. :) I have checked some of those off my list for the season. Great picture of the butterfly on the zinnia.

  13. That's a lot of stuff you'll be doing, Tina. About the leaves, I do that too...every one of them! Lovely gourd harvest and the last pic is gorgeous!!

  14. Sounds like you have a lot planned for this month. I know I will be doing some of the same chores.

    Always Growing

  15. Good suggestions and a gorgeous picture to boot!

  16. Wow alot of infromation on the garden,,thanks for sharing daughter name is Dawna Thanks for coming by...hugs and smiles Gloria

  17. Thanks for all the to do reminders. I have so much to do and so little time.

  18. Tina I just re-looked at your pics. My gourds are like the one in the middle of yours. The same shape. I missed it the first time. I need to id this particular type. Can you help!!!!

  19. Holy Moly...good luck with that, lol!
    I on the other hand am going to be puttin up razor wire around the garden to keep out the stupid camel...then I will feel like I've accomplished something useful this month!

  20. That's a good reminder that gardening is a round the year endeavor, miss any steps and the summer crops suffer as a result. Really nice photo at the end.

  21. Tina, Just when I thought I could rest from garden work this winter! Glad to know that Mother Nature's method of spreading leaves on my flowerbeds is a good mulching--she has certainly obliged me!
    Love the photo at the end--a reminder of what we have enjoyed all summer long.

  22. VP, You're welcomed! I enjoyed my visit.

    Racquel, Thanks!

    Kanak, Thanks!

    Jan, Yup-tons to do still.

    Layannee, Thanks!

    Happy to be, Thanks!

    Donna, Never enough time:(

    Lola, I grew two types. The birdhouse gourds and the purple martin gourds. I will have to find the seed packets to tell you the exact variety. But the center one is a birdhouse or bottle gourd. The larger ones are the martin gourds. Hope it helps.

    Inadvertent Farmer, Yes, do fence that mean ole camel. Great pictures of him!


    Rose, Thanks! Mother Nature for sure has a plan. Next year you won't notice any leaves.

  23. Tina, you are reading too deep into my
    Limb up from the ground means.... We picked up limbs from the ground yesterday. The Saint had the wheel barrel and I had the wagon hooked up to the Red Rider and we went to town. I had two huge loads and he dumped several but not sure of the count. But we did not even go into the woods yet. Too much in other places that needed the attention before the woods get a cleaning. We will do the woods later on when there is nothing else to do in the yard one weekend....

  24. Great list, Tina! I'm digging a couple of new beds--I like to do that in the cold weather (but obviously before the ground freezes). And I'm going to try your leaf mulching--we have plenty of leaves! I hope you had a happy Halloween--I love the gourds.

  25. Cosmo, Been wondering where you were. Glad to hear from you. Yup, leaves are great in the garden.

  26. Tina, thanks! Good that I read this -- since I am always in need of guidance and reminders. Am trying what you described with the leaves on top of the beds and planning new ones. Also, I admire your gourds. I grew little white "gooligans" this year. I didn't get many, but boy are they cute. Yours look like little white pears.

  27. JGH, Thanks so much for stopping by! You are not so far away and so many of things on my to do list should apply in New York as well. Leaves add so much organic matter to the soil and just disappear into that I surely leave them. Not due to laziness I assure you:) Gourds are cool. I had NONE last year due to the drought so went overboard this year. I think the big ones are the martin gourds. I am going to have to look for those gooligans. Is that the cultivar? Sound cute-too cute indeed. Will check for a picture on your blog.

  28. Hi Tina ! Great list, it sounds like you will be awfully busy in November! Your gourds look great, by the way. And I can't wait to see what you do with them.

  29. Great tips, Tina... we seem to be kindred spirits, as far as gardening and pets are concerned. I also have a history of garden club lectures (along with college classes, my own radio & TV garden shows, weekly garden column, etc.) and am presently wrapping up a workshop series at the garden center where I work.

    One of my six blogs is the monthly newsletter 'Corliss Clips' for the nursery. Your tips are spot-on for New England, as well... except for the Camellias!

    Enjoyed reading your profile... your companion "BJ" may be interested in the garden and life adventures of my companion "Lucy." who blogs on her Dog's Eye View.

    Thanks for dropping by 'GardenAuthor' ~ Deb

  30. Cindy, Always, you know me:)

    Garden Author (Deb), Yes, we have many things in common. Isn't blogging great to find others who have such similar interests AND who love pets? BJ loved Lucy's blog, as did I. He is not a happy camper this morning as he made a trip to the vet:( But all is fine. Thanks for visiting us.