November Gardening Tips

Here are a few gardening tasks and projects that you can do this month to help keep your garden looking it’s best for the rest of this season, and prepare for the long cold winter and upcoming spring.

Birds / Animals

  • Take care of our feathered friends! Keep your bird feeder filled, especially when there is snow on the ground.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Use an anti-desiccant (Wilt Pruf) spray to prevent moisture loss on broadleaf evergreens
  • Winter rains tend to make you forget about watering your garden. However, plants and shrubs which are growing beneath large evergreens or under the eaves of the house may be extremely dry by this time.
  • Water your trees and shrubs once more if ground still unfrozen
  • Wrap susceptible shrubs and evergreens with burlap after freeze-up
  • Protect trees and shrubs from rodents by spraying or painting Scoot on the bark. It leaves a bitter taste for the rodents and they will move on to untreated plant material. Rodents especially like the sweet taste of burning bushes- make sure they are treated with Scoot.


  • Enjoy the remaining last blooms of your fall annuals


  • Cut chrysanthemum and fall aster stems to 2-3 inches from the soil once they have begun to die back.
  • Complete clean-up
  • Add mulch but don’t cover tender perennials until freeze-up


  • Tulip bulbs may still be planted in the early part of the month.
  • If you potted up some bulbs, such as hyacinths, daffodils or tulips, last September for winter forcing, keep an eye on them. Make sure they remain moist, and in the dark until they have established their root systems. It is possible that they have already filled their containers with roots and that the new top growth has begun. If this is so, bring them into the house and set them in a cool room, in indirect light. After a week or so, move them into bright light, and watch them go to town!
  • Check on any corms and tubers which you dug up, and stored this fall. Remove and discard any which show signs of disease or rot.


  • Make sure that the canes of your climbing roses and other vines are securely fastened to their supports. Winter winds can severely damage unprotected plants. Don’t tie them so tightly that the string or twist-tie cuts into the stem. I recommend using a length of an old nylon stocking because it will stretch as the plant grows, rather than cutting into the stem, as string will do.


  • Cover strawberries two inches deep with hay or straw.
  • Secure your raspberry canes to stakes to protect them from wind whipping.


  • Create and package your own herbal blends as gifts


  • Give the lawn a good raking to lift away accumulations of debris.
  • Rake leaves off the lawn. They should be composted. Alternatively, they can be mowed, turning them into mulch which adds important nutrients back to the lawn.
  • When you have finished your last mowing of the year, make sure that the mower is properly stored. Run it until it is out of fuel…. old gas can turn to varnish, and severely damage the engine.
  • Stay off frozen grass!!!

Container Plants

  • Create a holiday container for your front door with evergreens, berries and decorations
  • Greens start arriving at Dufferin Garden Centre the first week of November.
  • Winter heating dries the air in your home considerably. Help house plants survive by misting them or placing the pots on a pebble filled tray of water to ensure adequate humidity and moisture.


  • Drain hoses and put them away so they don’t freeze and burst.
  • Clean and oil your garden tools for winter storage. Scrap any remaining dirt from the tools, using a clean cloth, rub oil onto the metal parts to prevent rusting. This is also a good month to restock and/or repair any tools that have been broken or damaged throughout the season.
  • Get outside every time the sun shines
  • Make final notes for improvements for next year and make a list of garden gifts on your holiday wish list

Above all else, have a happy and SAFE holiday season.