Prepare for late fall in the garden. We are in zone 7 so there are still a few things we can do or prepare for the rest of November. Make sure to protect your crops before a severe frost. Crops such as lettuce, spinach, chives and parsley will need to be covered if you expect them to survive the frost.
Some of the top performers in Zone 7 winters are arugula, beets, Swiss chard, mustard, cauliflower, radishes, spinach, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, peas, turnips. and varieties of lettuce. When buying seeds, keep a close eye out for varieties that are cold-hardy and have shorter ripening times.
Prepare for spring
I like to prepare my flower beds for spring planting now, in late fall. Fall is a great time to dig and prepare your flower beds for spring planting. If you take care of all of these major chores now, all the beds will need in the spring is a quick rake with a heavy rake to break up the top surface of the soil. Then you are ready very early to plant your spring plants.
If you’re using a tiller, fall is a great time to get out and plow your beds. Have you thought about double digging your beds? Once again, fall is a big time. If you’re digging a compost trench in your backyard, November is a great time to dig a trench and fill it with compostable material that can then rot all winter.
One thing to keep in mind, many of us have a lot of rain in November. If your soil is wet, DO NOT work it. Digging, plowing, or even raking wet soil heavily can destroy your soil makeup and ruin your soil for years to come!
It has been a long and productive summer in your backyard. I understand, you’ve been working hard all summer and the next November garden task can be tempting to delay. But you have to go out and do a final cleaning of your yard. Remove all the dead vegetables, rake the leaves and clean those perennial beds.
Leaving your yard full of debris and dead plants can be a real problem.
I hear people say all the time that they leave their dead plants in the garden as habitat for birds and other critters in the winter. But there is a problem with that. Along with birds, garden debris is also a great cover for many garden pests, slugs, snails, grasshoppers and even aphids will cover themselves for the winter in the debris strewn around your garden. When spring arrives, they will come out, hungry and ready to breed!
It is a much better practice to keep your garden clean and garbage free during the winter months. If you are concerned about birds, build some nesting boxes and feeders for your yard.
Prune and prune berries and other trees
November is a great time to prune many of your perennial berry shrubs. Remove this year cane production from plants like blackberries and raspberries. In fact, depending on the variety of raspberry, you may be able to completely cut the plants.
Also, go through your strawberry patch and remove weak and worn plants, clean up any debris, then cover your strawberry beds with a heavy cloth blanket or some type of organic mulch (like straw or leaves) . These November gardening tasks will allow your plot to start up much faster in the spring as well as a much higher survival rate for plants during the winter.
And don’t forget your ornamental trees and shrubs. Fall is NOT a good time to prune them hard. But you should walk around your yard and look for weak or damaged branches that could be pulled from the tree by frost or snow. It is better for you to cut them now than to break them and tear them during the winter. Also, look for branches that might rub against your house or roof during winter storms. You would be amazed at the damage that a small branch, rubbing all winter against your roof can do!
Another of the November garden tasks related to both ornamental and fruit trees is to prevent sun scorch in winter. If you have trees that are susceptible to trunk damage in the winter, you should wrap those trunks in November with a white tree wrap to protect them.
Prepare now, relax later
The sooner you complete November gardening chores, the sooner you can settle in for a long winter break! It’s time to find some great gardening books to read. Better yet, how about some gardening video lessons to watch and learn during the winter.