Martha’s To-Do List For November

Martha Stewart
Print Friendly

Pottery shed.

  • Cut back dead perennial foliage that may have had disease problems during the growing season after a killing frost. I like to leave the stems and seed heads of healthy plants, as these will provide food and shelter for birds over the winter.
  • Plant pansies in early November for some late-fall color. When they die back, cover them with a blanket of mulch for insulation over winter and they will bounce right back in early spring.  
  • Start paperwhite narcissus, amaryllis, hyacinth, and other forcing bulbs to enjoy their fragrant blooms throughout the holiday season.
  • Turn off the outdoor water supply and drain all spigots and water pipes. Coil and tie garden hoses, and store them in a frost-free place.
  • Organize the garden shed. Remove any liquids that could freeze. Transfer fertilizers boxed in cardboard to plastic or metal containers to prevent deterioration. Move snow removal equipment to front of storage area for easy access. Before you put away your mower, drain gasoline and take it to the shop for any repairs needed. It’s also a good time to have the blade sharpened and balanced.
  • Clean, sharpen, and oil all garden tools.
  • Put out bird feeders for the winter, and try to use a seed mix that will attract native species.
  • Transplant deciduous trees and shrubs after the leaves have fallen.
  • Inspect your trees. Now that the branches are bare, check for limbs that interfere with power lines or are too close to your house. Any limbs that could cause damage should be trimmed.
  • Clear gutters of dead leaves and other debris that has collected and add to your compost.
  • If you are getting a live Christmas tree this year, dig a hole for it in an appropriate place in your garden before the ground freezes. Keep the garden soil you removed from the hole in an area where it won’t freeze or wash away.

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!