November is a Busy Gardening Month

After all the cleaning, clearing, and soil work, I ecstatically welcome Thanksgiving. Once the garden is put to bed, we can reflect on the year, plan for 2018, and eat turkey, dressing, rolls, etc until we’re happily comatose.

  Clean out the garden and clear out debris

Clean out the garden and clear out debris

New Gardeners
Check with garden centers for trees and shrubs at discount prices. Most retailers don't want the hassle of having to transport and store large woody plants over the winter. Even if the leaves have fallen, you can spot healthy deciduous woodies by their strong, firm branches and plump buds. Plant as soon as possible.

For many it’s time to put the garden to bed. Clear garden debris. Cut down spent plants. Clean your tools and machines. Empty the fuel from your lawn mower.  Disconnect water hoses. Store your equipment and materials. Whew! More info available here.

 
  Stash your brown material now for next year's compost

Stash your brown material now for next year's compost

Experienced Gardeners
For the compost-conscious gardener, put aside a pile of leaves to use as dry material next year. Dry (or brown) material can be difficult to find during the growing season, so stash some now during the time of plenty.

Take a soil test. Soil is the foundation of terrestrial life. Keeping it healthy and productive is one of the best things we can do for our gardens. Call around to see what companies test for and what they require. More info available here.

 

  The ethnobotony of cheese pumpkins reveals indigenous trade, nutrition, and migration.

The ethnobotony of cheese pumpkins reveals indigenous trade, nutrition, and migration.

Educators
November is Native American Heritage Month. This is a time to acknowledge American cultures and their contributions to our society. For instance, use the ethnobotany of cheese pumpkins (Cucurbita moschata, which should be readily available and cheap following Halloween) to explore domestication, nutrition, commerce, and migration of cultures. More info available here.

Review dormancy. This is nature’s way of dealing with adverse conditions, like cold, heat, or drought.  Animals can go into hibernation or into a relaxed stupor when they slow physiological processes and use fewer resources. Plants do a similar thing when they drop leaves like an elm tree or retreat into a below ground structure like a lily bulb.  And since plants can’t move, their progression to dormancy is easy to observe and record.

 

 
  Did your landscape beautify the area, provide cutflowers, or fulfill whatever purpose you wanted?

Did your landscape beautify the area, provide cutflowers, or fulfill whatever purpose you wanted?

Store Front & Commercial Property Owners
Water your evergreens. Yews, junipers, arborvitaes, spruces, and boxwoods can not shut all their systems down like deciduous trees. Even in winter they can need water, and will dieback if they are too dry. This is especially true for newly planted trees; so soak them heavily.

Time to evaluate. Did your landscape perform well? Did your landscaping beautify the area, attract butterflies and songbirds, soften the store front, invite customers, calm the clients, provide cutflowers, offer a shady spot to lunch, or fulfill whatever purpose you wanted? Begin assessing and planning now to get the best return on your landscape/interiorscape investment in 2018. More info available here.

  Soak your evergreen trees, shrubs, and hedges so they are well hydrated going into the cold winter months

Soak your evergreen trees, shrubs, and hedges so they are well hydrated going into the cold winter months

  Gingkoes go dormant suddenly dropping their golden leaves overnight.

Gingkoes go dormant suddenly dropping their golden leaves overnight.