What to do in the garden in November: your guide to planning, planting and more
OSU Extension offers timely advice on gardening, fertilization, pest control and more. These tips may not be applicable to all areas of Oregon. For more information, contact your local extension office.
The Oregon State University Extension Service encourages sustainable gardening practices.
Practice preventive pest control rather than reactive pest control. Identify and monitor problems before you act, and take the less toxic approach. Retain biological control agents such as predators and parasitoids that feed on harmful insects.
- Force spring bulbs for indoor flowering in December.
Maintenance and cleaning
- Lawn mower maintenance.
- Check the potatoes in storage and eliminate any deteriorating ones.
- Place a portable cold frame over rows of winter vegetables.
- Place mulch around the berries for winter protection.
- Cover the rhubarb and asparagus beds with composted manure and straw.
- Collect and compost disease and insect free leaves. Use mulch to prevent erosion and rain compaction.
- To protect integrated sprinkler systems, drain the system and isolate the valve mechanisms.
- Clean and oil your lawn mower and other garden equipment and tools before putting them away for the winter. Drain and store the hoses carefully to prevent damage from freezing. Renew the mulch around the perennial beds after removing the weeds.
- Protect tender evergreens from the drying wind.
- Tie the branches of erect conifers to prevent breakage caused by snow or ice.
- Cut the chrysanthemums to 4 to 6 inches after they have finished flowering.
- Leave ornamental grasses in winter to give texture to the landscape. Cut them a few inches from the ground in early spring.
- Western Oregon: Last chance to plant cover crops for soil construction. You can also use a 3- to 4-inch layer of leaves, spread over the garden plot, to remove winter weeds, suppress weeds in early spring, and prevent soil compaction by rain.
- Western Oregon: Watch for wet soil and drainage issues in the yard during heavy rains. Tiling, ditch and French drains are possible solutions. Consider rain gardens and organic ditches as a long-term solution.
- Western Oregon: Take cuttings of rhododendrons and camellias for propagation; propagate begonias from leaf cuttings.
- Western Oregon: Prune roses (tea and floribunda, but NOT climbers and hikers) to about 3 feet tall to avoid winter damage.
- Central / Eastern Oregon: If there is no snow cover and the soil is warm enough, water your newly planted perennials, trees and shrubs every 6 to 8 weeks. Soak them thoroughly to keep them from drying out.
- Central / Eastern Oregon: Wrap the trunks of young, thin-barked trees (maples, aspens, ash) with tree wrapping paper at the end of the month to prevent sun scorch. Withdraw in April. Wrap new trees two to three years in a row until the outer bark thickens.
Planting / propagation
- Plant a window garden of lettuce, chives and parsley.
- It is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. Consider varieties that provide food and shelter for birds, such as sumac, elderberry, flowering black currant, and false orange.
- Western Oregon: There is still time to plant spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses. Do not be too long.
- Western Oregon: Now is the right time to plant garlic for the harvest next summer and to transplant landscaped trees and shrubs.
Pest monitoring and management
Use chemical controls only when necessary and only after carefully reading the pesticide label. Consider cultural controls first, then physical and biological controls. Choose the less toxic options and use them wisely. Some examples include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, botanical insecticides, and organic and synthetic pesticides.
- Rake and destroy the leaves of fruit trees that have been sick this year. Remove and discard the mummified fruit.
- Check the firewood for insect infestations. Burn the affected wood first and do not store it indoors.
- Treat peaches four weeks after leaf drop as a spray for leaf curl and bullet hole diseases.
- Western Oregon: Moss appearing in the lawn can mean too much shade or poor drainage. Correct site conditions if moss is troublesome.
- Western Oregon: Slug bait garden during rainy season. Use phosphate traps or baits, which are safe for animals.
- Monitor landscape plants for problems. Do not treat unless a problem is identified.
Indoor plants and indoor gardening
- Reduce fertilizer applications.
Trademark products and services are mentioned for illustration only. This does not mean that the Oregon State University Extension Service endorses these products and services or intends to discriminate against products and services not mentioned.
– OSU extension service, extension.oregonstate.edu