University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
EVERGREEN CARE AND OTHER NOVEMBER
Leonard Perry, UVM Extension
Helping evergreen trees and shrubs
prepare for winter, wrapping trunks of young trees, and getting tools
winter are some of the gardening activities for this month.
continue to respire (that is, lose moisture albeit slowly) during the
so make sure they have a good deep watering before the ground
freezes. It’s best to water them well for several
weeks, if there aren’t deep and long rains. Protect young plants
damage during winter by wrapping them in burlap or with wooden
the windward side.
the trunks with tree wrap or use white plastic protectors to prevent
and frost cracking on young, thin-barked trees, such as maples. These
will reflect the warming rays of the sun so the tree bark doesn't heat
winter days, only to be suddenly cooled when the sun sets and the
plummet. The plastic protectors also prevent rodents from gnawing on
trunks. Or, you can wrap the trunks with
some time this fall to get your mower and other power equipment ready
storage. Wipe off any dirt and debris, especially loose wet grass that
accumulated on the deck or caked underneath it.
This can rust the deck over winter, shortening the life of the mower
body. If reaching under the deck, make
sure to disconnect the spark plug first so the engine has no chance of
starting. Then you can store with the
fuel tank empty or full. If storing with fuel, add a
stabilizer, then run the machine for about 10 minutes. Store mowers in
location, or if outdoors, wrap
in a waterproof tarp.
their dry summer rest period, watch for signs of shoot growth on
That signals it's time to pot them up, or if already potted to resume
Use a pot only slightly larger than the bulb diameter. Set a bulb into
moistened potting mix so one-half to one-third of the bulb protrudes
soil. Place the pot in a warm well-lit spot, and don't water it again
first leaf or flower shoot starts to grow.
the soil of your empty vegetable bed and keep out wayward weed seeds by
covering the beds with leaves or straw. Avoid weedy hay as this
millions of weed seeds. This surface
organic matter also can encourage beneficial earthworm activity.
There's a window of opportunity for mulching because
you want to wait until the ground freezes so you don't give rodents a
place too soon, but if you don't mulch before the snow accumulates, it
get done. If we could rely on constant snow cover, mulching would be
necessary, but in the absence of that protection, we need to provide a
blanket. Some plants such as coral bells,
delphiniums, oriental poppies, iris, violas, and sedum are better off
any mulch, especially in winter, when it can compact and encourage
Before snow flies and the ground freezes, November
is your last chance to plant garlic bulbs, to dig gladiolus to store
over winter, and to plant fall bulbs. If
you don’t get your spring-blooming bulbs planted, pot them, then
in a cool place (40 degrees is ideal, as in a spare refrigerator or
cellar), just don’t let them freeze.
Then, anytime after 12 weeks you can bring into warmth indoors to force