Winter is Coming! Here is Your November To-Do List

Welcome to November, gardeners! Fall is waning and winter is right around the corner. It’s time to prepare! 

“The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July.”

~Henry David Thoreau

Check these November gardening tips off your to-do lists. If you missed our tips last month, you can find them here

Garden Tools & Equipment

“The healthiest way to gamble is with a spade 

and a package of garden seeds.”

 – Dan Bennet


Winter is on its way, so check off this garden tool checklist to ensure they’re ready for next spring.

  • Drain hoses and put them away.
  • The fuel in power equipment should be used up or drained.
  • Change the spark plugs and sharpen the blades. 
  • Clean, oil and sharpen hand tools.
  • Store all tools indoors to keep them from rusting.


Trees and Shrubs 

“In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. 

Without their leaves, how lovely they are, 

spreading their arms like dancers.”

 – Cynthia Rylant

  • Trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, should be watered heavily going into winter and should be watered regularly during the winter, at least once per month, twice if it is a dry winter.
  • Deep soak any plants that may be in the rain shadow of other plants or buildings (meaning the rain won’t land on the soil above their root system).
  • If you have shrubs or trees that need to be moved this would be the best time to do so.
  • Apply antitranspirants, such as Wilt-Pruf, to evergreen trees and shrubs to prevent moisture loss during drying winter weather.

Remember during the winter, snowfall will not be enough to water your new plants. Try these winter watering tips:

  1. Dump ice around the rootball area. When temperatures are warm enough to need it, the ice will melt and soak into the soil around the roots.Take a 16 oz tumbler and put 1-4 scoops per plant (smaller plants, such as a gallon-size perennial need only one scoop, larger plants like a 25-gallon tree, use four full scoops.)
  2. Drill a small hole in the bottom of a 5-gallon utility bucket. Place the bucket so that the edge of it is against the trunk of the tree, and fill the bucket with water. Let it drip, slowly, onto the rootball area. Do this one time during the winter for smaller plants and 2-3 times for larger trees/shrubs. Move the bucket with each watering so the entire root system gets water.

For more tree & shrub care tips for November read our previous blog: Three Things To Keep In Mind This Fall


“Fall has always been my favorite season. 

The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, 

as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”

– Lauren DeStefano

  • Plant your bulbs if you have not had a chance to do so.
  • Clean up all debris and leaves around roses. Dispose of leaves if your roses had any disease problems. Do not compost diseased leaves.
  • Mulch roses to protect the graft union during the cold winter months.
  • Roses should be pruned if they are overgrown and are vulnerable to breakage from snow load. Your heavy pruning should be done in the spring when the leaf buds start to swell.

Most flowers that people associate with spring start as bulbs and need to be planted in the fall before winter begins. The cold period over the winter is important to the growth of the flower. Get your full guide for fall-planted bulbs here. 

Lawn Care 

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious
as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”
– Nathanial Hawthorne

There isn’t too much lawn care to be done in November but here are a couple of tasks to add to your list.

  • Keep leaves raked off the lawn to help prevent fungus or other potential diseases. If there wasn’t any disease in your trees, you can use the leaves as compost on your garden beds. 
  •  Mow the lawn short for the winter.

Check back next month for December tips. For more pointers, check out our Seasonal Tips page.

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