Garden care in November
It is the period in which we pass from autumn to full winter, especially in the northern regions. The sunset comes first, the rains and the mists are more frequent and the cold begins to be felt, mainly at night and in the morning. For the gardener it is a challenging month, but rich in perspectives. The plants are prepared for frost in the coming months, but we can also fantasize by dedicating ourselves to designing the spaces for the coming year.
Cleaning, mulching and fertilizing
These operations can be done in the second part of October or until the end of November (especially in the southern regions and on the coasts). It is about cleaning up the fallen leaves, branches and soil. If our garden is healthy we can use them to set up a thick layer of mulch, especially for the most delicate or recently planted plants. If, on the other hand, the cryptogams (oidium, scab, rust ...) hit our garden it is good to get rid of them or, if possible, burn them.
It is also the ideal time to improve the fertility of our soil: before proceeding with mulching we distribute in large quantities manure or compost over the entire surface, perhaps adding a percentage of cornunghia to large pieces: rain and frost will contribute to decomposition. In the spring we will incorporate what remains with a light hoe.
For acidophilic plants it is useful to associate a little iron sulphate.
Protection of delicate plants
Frost damage depends on our climate zone: let's get information in particular on the minimum temperatures that can be reached. In relation to this we can decide whether to bring the most delicate potted plants into a greenhouse or inside or simply cover them with a special cloth (perhaps by placing them against a warm wall). A real danger, for those in small containers, is that you completely freeze the earthen bread: let's wrap them in insulating material or prepare a full container of sand and insert all the jars.
Ground plants must be protected from cold and wind, especially if they are delicate or young. We prepare a thick mulch all over the foot. We cover as much as possible the crown with single or double TNT and the trunk with straw or blankets. If necessary we prepare a windbreak.
New systems and design
November is perhaps the best month for new shrub and tree plants. Naturally it is good to start very first to choose the subjects to insert: we take into consideration both local nurseries (they usually offer varieties suitable to our territory) and catalogs (to have a wider choice also of new introductions). We can work both with bare-rooted plants (cheaper) and with earthen bread. We open the holes in advance, create a good drainage and add a soil improver. The subjects with bare root benefit from the lifting: leave them in water, soil and manure for a few hours. Once the plant is finished, we irrigate abundantly, put braces (if necessary) and mulch.
We can still proceed with the insertion of spring-flowering bulbous plants.
The garden in November: Other operations
Important is the prevention of cryptogams and the removal of the wintering stages of many phytophagous. For the first we suggest to do at least one treatment with a copper: we spray on the trunks, on the branches and on the cuts (we will also avoid cancers due to permanent humidity). Many insects and mites survive winter in the form of eggs in bark gorges: let's reduce the number by doing a treatment with white oil activated by a specific insecticide for that stage of development.
We eliminate the aerial part of lively perennials. We take advantage of the latest cleaning prunings to make woody cuttings.
We collect the leaves on the lawn and make a last cut, not too low. We distribute a fertilizer with a good amount of phosphorus: it will help the roots to survive the winter.