Living: Caring for your garden throughout November

It is time for fall cleanup, digging out dahlia tubers, planting those spring bulbs that are still sitting in your garage or yard waiting to be planted and covering any bare soil with leaves or mulch. This is also a great time to get rid of weeds in your gardens. 

Pounding rain can cause soil erosion so that’s another good reason to cover all those bare spots in your garden.  You would never find a bare spot on the ground in nature.  Mother Nature knows how to protect her plants through the winter.

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While I was adding more leaves to one of our garden beds, I noticed some ladybugs already getting ready to hibernate in the existing mulch.

Remember to leave your fall garden messy.  The birds enjoy eating the seed-heads from your plants throughout the winter.  They can be cut back in the spring using garden shears.

Do not prune any trees until January or February when the trees are dormant.  Maple trees and fruit trees especially, are susceptible to disease if pruned at this time.  Rule of thumb, leave your pruning until the winter months.

Remove the leaves from your lawn and spread them on your garden beds.  They are not good for your grass.  This would be a great time to add good quality top soil and reseed. 

Chafer beetle tearing up your lawn?  Dig in the spot where the damage has occurred and get rid of as many of the chafer larvae you can.  Rake over the spot and add new top soil and chafer beetle resistant grass seed that includes clover in the blend. 

Aerating and adding organic fertilizer will help with future growth.  Remove weeds from your lawn, but maybe leave a few dandelions in the lawn to help our bees in the early spring.  Dandelions are the first food available for our little pollinators.

I just moved in all of my tender plants to protect them over the winter.  We enjoyed luscious ferns and spider plants hanging outside throughout our gardens this summer.

And because our heat has been turned on, my attention was turned to making sure my houseplants were ready for drier conditions inside our house.  Now that we are spending more hours indoors, houseplants give back to us generously.  They reduce carbon dioxide levels, reduce levels of pollutants such as benzene and nitrogen dioxide and they keep down the airborne dust!

So I have my squeaky clean hummingbird feeder ready to be put out, the suet is already attracting towhees and flickers and my Christmas cactus is “thinking” about maybe giving me a bloom or two.

Welcome to November!

Lynda Pasacreta is the current president of the Richmond Garden Club.  For more information visit richmondgardenclub.ca

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