Margaret Lauterbach

What to do in and around the garden in November and December

Mow your dry leaves for a great winter mulch.
Mow your dry leaves for a great winter mulch. TNS


▪  Spread last half of lawn’s annual fertilizer allotment in two sessions, a week or two apart.

▪ Use power mower to vacuum and shred leaves for use as winter mulch or as additions to compost.

▪  Plant spring flowering bulbs after soil temperature drops below 60 degrees. (Buy your bulbs earlier in the season if you want a better selection. Keep in a cool, dry place or refrigerate.) For winter cheer, buy bulbs for forcing indoors.


▪ Harvest parsnips, kale, beets, turnips, leeks, brussels sprouts and carrots after a moderate frost or light snow. Flavor will be sweeter then.

▪  Check trees and shrubs for weak or broken branches that may be felled by snow later. You can remove these now, sparing your tree or shrub damage that might admit disease.

▪  Once the ground freezes, mulch perennials, taking care not to pull mulch tightly around the main stem or trunk. Leave an inch or two ring open around stem or trunk, lest you create ideal conditions for crown rot.

▪  Rake leaves from flower beds to keep them from matting and directing moisture away from plants.

▪  Cover strawberries with pine needle straw or other straw not contaminated by herbicides.

▪  Make holiday wreaths or holiday decorations of conifers or other evergreens.