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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 earlier, the rains and fogs are more frequent and the cold begins to be felt, mainly at night and in the morning. For the gardener it is a busy month, but full of prospects. The plants are being prepared for the frost in the coming months, but we can also fantasize by dedicating ourselves to designing spaces for the year to come.
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 involves clearing branches, soil and lawn of fallen leaves. 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, cryptogams (powdery mildew, scab, rust ..) have hit our garden, it is good to discard them or, if possible, burn them.
It is also the ideal time to improve the fertility of our soil: before proceeding with mulching, distribute a large quantity of manure or compost over the entire surface, perhaps adding a percentage of cornunghia in large pieces: rain and frost will contribute to decomposition. In spring we will incorporate what remains with a light hoeing.
For acidophiles it is useful to associate a little iron sulphate.
Protection of delicate plants
Frost damage depends on our climatic zone: let's find out in particular about the minimum temperatures that can be reached. In relation to this, we can decide whether to bring the most delicate potted plants to the greenhouse or indoors or simply cover them with a special cloth (perhaps by placing them next to a warm wall). A concrete danger, for those in small containers, is that the earthen bread freezes completely: wrap them in insulating material or prepare a box full 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 foliage with single or double non-woven fabric and the trunk with straw or blankets. If necessary we prepare a windbreak.
New plants and design
November is perhaps the best month for new shrubs and trees. Of course it is good to start choosing the subjects to be included much earlier: we take into consideration both local nurseries (usually offering varieties suitable for our territory) and catalogs (to have a wider choice of new introductions too). We can work with both bare root plants (cheaper) and with earthen bread. We open the holes in advance, create a good drainage and add a soil improver. Bare-rooted subjects benefit from the hoeing: leave them in water, soil and manure for a few hours. At the end of the plant we irrigate abundantly, put on 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 killing of the wintering stages of many pests. For the former, we recommend doing at least one treatment with a cupric: spray on the trunks, branches and cuts (we will also avoid cancers due to permanent humidity). Many insects and mites survive the winter in the form of eggs in the crevices of the bark: let's reduce their number by treating them with white oil activated by a specific insecticide for that stage of development.
Let's eliminate the aerial part of the lively perennials. We take advantage of the last 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.