Tips and tricks for tending to the garden in November

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

If blossom-end rot plagued your tomato crop this growing season, the soil pH could be off. Soil test now so slow acting lime has a chance to get to where it is needed before the next growing season.

After a killing frost has hit your asparagus beds, it is time to cut the dead foliage to the ground.

Continue to rake leaves off the lawn. You can use a sweeper attachment on the mower or a bagger. Place leaves on a compost pile for next year. A mulching blade will also work to chop up the leaves and distribute back onto the lawn.

In addition to leaves, compost other yard waste. As you cut back perennials and pile up other non-diseased garden refuse in preparation for winter, return that bounty to your garden in the form of compost. Compost is nature’s favorite fertilizer and soil conditioner.

Fall is for planting. The cool weather permits establishment of a root system before next year’s hot weather. In most cases, watering plants in at the time of planting will be all the water they need to get through the winter, though they will need more water in spring and summer if it doesn’t rain. Due to the drought this year, however, you will need to evaluate the water you have before planting. Some municipalities continue to be under drought restrictions that prevent you from using municipal water for landscape purposes.

If your area permits use of water for planting, now through early February is an ideal time to plant deciduous trees and shrubs and perennials. Plant evergreens through November.

Allow space for plants to grow to their mature size. A common mistake is placing a large or fast-growing plant where there is not enough room for its full height and spread. The error results in continuous pruning in an attempt to keep the plant to a size nature never intended it to be. Builders and beginning landscapers often place shrubs too close together, because the plants look so small when they come from the nursery. Find out how large the plant can be expected to grow, and place them where they can fulfill their potential.

November is a good time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. Dormant bulbs can be planted without watering. They will need a limited amount of water but hopefully nature will provide it.

Make sure pesticides are properly stored for winter. Check the label for details. An insulated building is enough for most pesticides, but a few should stay above freezing.

Run all the gas out of a small engine before storing for winter. This will keep deposits from forming in the carburetor and will prevent hassles next spring.