Priscilla’s Garden To-Do List for November into December

  • Clean up debris in the vegetable garden promptly to reduce hiding places for insect pests and diseases
  • Cut back perennials that have no wildlife value (i.e. hostas, daylilies, Shasta daisy, catmint, lady’s mantle, etc), remembering to leave basal rosettes of foxgloves, heucheras, and hollyhocks to generate new growth for spring
  • Seedheads of native perennials can be left as desired for winter interest and to provide cover for pollinators and food for wildlife
  • Test soil and amend per soil test results, particularly in vegetable gardens and around woody plants
  • Empty containers of spent annuals, plant out any perennials, and prepare for winter greens late in the month
  • Drain hoses and store for winter
  • Clean leaves from lawns, walkways and driveways
  • Consider leaving the leaves on beds for winter protection and for pollinator habitat
  • Protect canes of oak leaf and lace cap hydrangeas against deer predation with garlic clips (both bloom on old wood)
  • Protect trunks of thin barked trees from “buck rub” against your tree (male deer repeatedly rubbing the spot on their foreheads where antlers recently fell off)
  • Plant bulbs for spring color
  • Plant garlic
  • Plant bare root woody plants that may arrive via mail order
  • Begin dormant pruning of trees and shrubs as leaves drop off – spiraea, blueberry, and fruit trees respond well at this time
  • Shear back ornamental grasses that may splay open and block passage – otherwise wait until spring to cut back
  • Prepare winter shrub protectors and install before snow flies
  • Apply anti-desiccant late in month to protect vulnerable broadleaf evergreens again winter damage
  • Apply deer repellent to favored shrubs such as yew, holly and rhododendron to discourage winter browsing
  • Wait until the ground freezes before putting down winter mulches of salt marsh hay or sterilized straw around tender plants or exposed plantings