by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
Shorter Days and Nippy Temperatures In November you might be tempted to start slacking off on the gardening chores. Well, there are still lots of things to do in the landscape and home garden. Gardens, like houses, need special attention to get them through the winter months. By investing a little time and effort now, you will be rewarded in the spring. For example, after a killing frost, the long vigorous shoots of your rose bushes may be cut back to 18 to 20 inches so they are not whipped by the winter winds that might loosen the roots and make the plants more susceptible to winter injury. Mound the canes with 8 inches of soil for winter protection; remove before growth begins in the spring. Raking is one of those fall chores that needs to be done almost continuously in November. Leaves should be raked out of the f lower beds and removed. Before raking through the herbaceous perennials, such as lilies and iris, cut the
A pair of sharp shears can be a gardener’s best friend. plant stems and leaves. Make sure to leave 2 to 3 inches of the plant’s stem visible to help protect fresh shoots from animal damage as they first emerge in the spring. It’s also a helpful reminder of where plants are in the yard before they start to sprout. Avoid pulling the stems or leaves because that produces holes in the crown of the plant that can lead to rot problems. A good sharp pair of shears can be a gardener’s best friend. While you are cleaning up the 81
November 2014 Tidewater Times