To Do In November

by Gary Crispell, EMGV

November is upon us. The really active gardening season is nearly over. It is time to harvest the last of the tomatoes and peppers. Perhaps there is a winter squash or two still clinging to the vine. I don’t know about you, but I am sooo over pumpkin spice anything and sooo ready for eggnog (any way you like it).  So, let’s wrap up this gardening season and toast the upcoming holiday season.

Lawn Care
All of your neighbors with warm season lawns are smirking at you still mowing your fescue and bluegrass. (Really some of them—the ones chasing leaves with the John Deere—are jealous.) Just keep the cool season grasses mowed to 3.4 to 4 inches and everybody should keep lawns reasonably clear of leaves. Continue the battle with fire ants.


  • Not much going on here. If your soil pH is low, less than 6.0, apply the recommended amount of lime. A good way to incorporate it into the soil is to core aerate the lawn before the application.
  • Wood ashes from your fireplace can be spread on your gardens and shrub beds. Be careful to avoid acid-loving plants such as azaleas, camellias, gardenias, etc.


  • Let me repeat, “Fall is for planting!” There is still lots of time to add/transplant plants in your landscape (per your PLAN, naturally).
  • Plant one-year-old asparagus crowns now.
  • Sow a cover crop over the veggie garden if it is finished for the year. A planting of annual rye, wheat or barley will help prevent erosion and keep weeds to a minimum. Besides you can just till it into the soil in the spring as a bonus.


  • After Jack Frost has claimed the last of your herbaceous perennials including existing asparagus, they can be cut back to the over-wintering rosettes or the ground.
  • Dead and/or diseased wood can be pruned out at any time.
  • Weeds and undesirable trees can now be removed without the three bottles of water per hour, head sweat band, and insect repellent.


Surely by now you have cleaned up and put away the spray equipment. If not, Just do it.

Other stuff to do that will keep you outside and prevent eggnog overdose

  • As mentioned earlier, add lime where recommended. No fertilizer until spring.
  • Walk around the yard on mild days. It may be awhile before we see any more of them.
  • Okay, you can go inside now and order those fruit trees and vines you’ve been talking about. They will be delivered in time for planting in February or March. (Did you know hardy kiwi will grow well in a sunny place and produce a prodigious amount of fruit?)
  • While you are inside look at your plan and make adjustments based on this year’s experiences.
  • Oh, yeah. Don’t forget to stuff that bird, mash them taters, and bake that punkin pie. May your Thanksgiving be bountiful.