- Houseplant growth will slow so apply less fertilizer and water.
- Move plants closer to windows or to sunnier exposures if plants are dropping leaves.
Pot up spring-flowering bulbs with tips exposed to force blooms indoors. Moisten soil and refrigerate 10 to 13 weeks. Transfer to a cool sunny location and allow an additional three to four weeks for blooming.
- Continue to keep poinsettias in complete darkness from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily until early December or until red bracts begin to show. For more information, download Purdue University’s The Poinsettia.
- Mow lawn as needed.
- Rake or shred large fallen leaves and compost them with other lawn and garden debris. For more information about creating a compost pile, download the pamphlet: Making Compost From Yard Waste from Virginia Tech.
- Continue watering gardens, shrubs and trees if rainfall doesn’t reach an inch or more every week or 10 days. It’s important for plants to go into cold weather with adequate moisture.
- Erect physical barriers around woody plants and trees if rabbits, rodents or deer are a problem. Metal mesh (1/4-inch) hardware cloth is good for this. Pull mulch away from trunks to discourage rodents from making a winter home there.
- Remove dead or diseased branches from trees and shrubs.
- November is the second best month to fertilize the lawn. There are products labeled for fall-winter application. Late fall fertilizing with keeps the lawn green going into winter and encourages it to green up earlier in spring. Always read and follow the label directions of the product you use.
- Prepare new beds now for planting next spring. The soil is usually easier to work in the fall and fall-prepared beds allow for earlier plantings in spring. Beds may be mulched with compost, chopped leaves or other organic material during the winter, if desired. Avoid fall tilling when there’s a chance of soil erosion.
- Continue planting container grown and balled-and-burlapped plants as long as ground can be worked and weather permits. Mulch well. Keep watering new plantings until ground freezes.
- Protect graft union on rose bushes by mounding soil around the plants and adding mulch on top. Wait until after several killing frosts so that plants will be dormant. Plants covered too early may be smothered. Don’t use soil from around the plant. Instead, buy bags of top soil and use that.
- Prepare hole if you plan to use a “live” Christmas tree (one that is balled-and-burlapped). Mulch the area heavily to prevent freezing or dig the hole and put the fill in a protected area that won’t freeze, such as a garage or basement. For details, check out Purdue’s Living Christmas Trees for the Holidays and Beyond.
Vegetables and Fruits
- Continue harvesting vegetables.
- Clean up and discard fallen leaves and fruit around plants to reduce disease carrier over.