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12/18/2017
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November Tips for the Garden

by Leia Scott Kelly

Saffron Finch
Leave some seed heads for the birds this winter. Photo by Tom Fake, US National Park Service

November is a good time to continue to dig, divide, and replant crowded perennials. Look for perennials that have grown out of bounds or have declined due to overcrowding. Look for those that have developed a ring of growth with an empty center. Divide and replant peonies now. Be sure the “eyes” or buds on the division are covered by no more than ½ to 1 inch of soil. Keep all your transplants well watered to help them develop roots and become established in their new location.

As you continue to remove dying or dead plants to spruce up the garden don’t forget about leaving some seed heads for the birds. Coneflower, sunflower, black-eyed-Susan and other plants provide nourishment for our feathered friends during the winter. Ornamental grasses are at the top of the list with their beautiful seed heads and leaves that turn yellow, orange, red, or purple with the onset of cooler temperatures. So, don’t be too hasty with the pruning shears as you do the tidying up of the garden this fall—remember the wildlife has needs too!

Cold weather is coming so if you haven’t brought in your rain gauge to avoid freeze damage, you probably should. Drain and store water hoses to extend their lives. Protect your investment in garden tools—some can be very expensive. Clean them up by removing all dirt and grime. Repair or replace any broken ones. Bring in those clay pots or other garden art that are not freeze proof. I store all my garden statuary in the glass greenhouse that is connected to my kitchen. All winter the little clay squirrels, turtles, frogs and garden elves and angels peek out among the plants and gaze at our family as we eat at the kitchen table!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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