November gardening tips.
Time to get serious about cleaning up the garden. Begin by removing any plant supports, such as trellis or tomato cages. Next remove all the spent plant material from the garden. Dead plants, old fruit and vegetables, including tomato plants and diseased plants should be disposed of. Plant material that looks healthy can be composted, adding organic material to your garden soil. This would include fall tree leaves and grass clipping from the lawn. A great way to clean up leaves from the lawn is to put the catcher on your mower and gather the leave while you mow the lawn. All this material can go right into the garden. It will break down over winter and is a great addition to your garden soil. This is also a great time to incorporate peat moss, compost, raised- bed amendments into the soil. Preparing garden soils now is easier because the soils are generally drier, it means less work in the spring and a generally earlier start to the garden. Next, turn your attention to your perennial beds. Look for obvious trouble spots, such as plants that exhibit any dead, diseased or damaged branches. Clean up any fallen leaves and other debris from around rose bushes to prevent diseases from wintering over. The same goes for aspen trees. Black spot, powdery mildew and other diseases can winter over and infect plants in the spring.
Most of your actual pruning can be accomplished with a good set of hand pruners. For larger branches or canes, use loppers.
You can prune roses back to about 30 " now, but avoid severe pruning. We’ll talk more about fall rose care in a future article. Perennials such as Catmint (Nepeta), hardy hibiscus, mums, bronze fennel, hostas, columbine, daylilies, phlox, peonies, salvia, veronica, and yarrow can be pruned to the ground. Spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia and lilac form their flower buds soon after they bloom. If you prune them now, you will cut off most of the flowers. Better to prune these bushes shortly after they bloom, next spring. Ornamental grasses can be pruned now, however they will add interest to your winter garden, so you can wait and prune them in early spring before they start to green up. Artemisia is best pruned in the spring. Butterfly bushes can be trimmed lightly now, but wait until late winter to do any serious pruning. These are general guidelines. If you have specific questions, contact us at 303-772-3454 or stop by the Diagnostic Center in the Hardgoods section of the store.