• Order garden seed in November to ensure that you receive all the seed you ordered and get prompt delivery.
  • Water all perennial plants, including trees and shrubs, heavily before the ground freezes to prevent winter drought damage.


  • Add compost or rotted manure to asparagus patches for fatter spears.
  • Water perennials such as raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, deeply before ground freezes.
  • Continue to fight seed bearing weeds.
  • Parsnips will be sweeter if placed in refrigerator and held at 32 degrees. Doing this for one week can make a big difference. They can also be left in the ground for winter harvesting, by mulching with 3 inches of straw, a layer of plastic, and several inches of soil.
  • To slow down green tomato ripening, place tomatoes in plastic sacks containing paper towels moistened in rubbing alcohol for a few hours. This can delay ripening as much as seven days, with no loss of quality.
  • To speed up green tomato ripening, place tomatoes in brown paper sack with a few apples. Check daily as they will ripen quickly and spoil if not used.


  • If your apples had scab, rake and dispose of infected leaves and fruits, to prevent reinfestation.
  • Wrap trunks of smooth, dark barked trees to prevent sun scald. A light colored, interior, water based, latex paint can be painted on trunks to reflect the sun. Also, wooden laths or boards may be placed on the south-west side of trees. This protection is especially important for young apple and cherry trees. Provide wind protection if trees are in area of strong winter winds.
  • To protect trees from rodent damage, wrap tree trunks with wire mesh or hardware cloth and eliminate brush, weeds, etc., from around the base.
  • In November, after the soil has frozen, mulch the strawberry bed. Apply a 4-6 in. layer of straw.
  • Continue planting containerized fruit trees as long as the soil can be worked.


  • Put tree wraps on young, dark barked ornamental trees. Aspen and birch don’t need wraps as their bark naturally reflects sun.
  • Even though the surface of the soil may be moistened by occasional showers, continue deep watering woody ornamentals, when needed, before ground freezes. With our dry winters, moisture in the root system might otherwise become depleted and result in dieback.
  • In November, small evergreens can be covered with burlap bags to prevent sun scald. Support bags with sticks. Don’t use plastic or paper bags as they don’t breathe.
  • Continue planting containerized trees and shrubs as long as the soil can be worked.


  • Raise mowing heights to three inches for lawns that traditionally do not have snow cover. Lower mowing height to two inches for lawns that usually have heavy snow cover, to prevent matting.


  • The first of the month, before the ground freezes, cover crowns of grafted T-roses with 12 inches of soil (about a 5 gal. bucket). This is the best material to protect graft buds, as well as a good segment of the canes for big bushes next year.
  • If you had black leaf spot on roses, be sure to rake and dispose of leaves after they fall, to prevent reinfestation.
  • Leaves and sawdust are not recommended as mulches as they are hard to take off, tend to compact and can smother the plant. Leaves do not insulate well and can cause mold.
  • Mulch newly planted perennials for their first winter.
  • If you’ve planted bulbs this fall, also mulch for winter, to prevent the bulbs from sprouting too early in spring, when frost damage could occur.


  • To safely transport houseplants in cold weather: 1) Prewarm the car. 2) Fully cover the plant before transporting, a plastic bag works best. 3) Blow warm air into the bag to create a bubble around the plant. 4) Put the plant in the passenger area, never in trunk. 5) At home, allow plant to remain in the bag for about 15 minutes for gradual adjustment to room temperature.
  • To grow herbs inside this winter choose those that grow easily from seed such as: dill, fennel, marjoram, lemon balm, basil, parsley and anise. If you would like to grow the following they are best bought started: chives, sweet bay, lemon-verbena, mints, scented geraniums, sage, savory, thyme, and tarragon. Grow in brightest windows.
  • Humidity is lower in winter due to heating systems. Compensate for low humidity by installing a humidifier of some type near plants, or place plants on shallow trays containing moist coarse gravel. Grouping plants together also helps, so that transpiration becomes of mutual benefit.