Garden Checklist: November


Warm Season Grasses  

Bermuda and Zoysia 

Begin to raise the mower deck height slightly to acclimate the turf before the first frost. Do not apply nitrogen. Lime, sulfur, or potassium can be added based on soil testing results. If not done previously, apply a pre-emergent if desired for winter weed control. Do not apply a pre-emergent if overseeding with rye. Overseeding with ryegrass is optional in the winter months.  

Mow frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is cut. 

Cool Season Grasses  

Kentucky Bluegrass 

Mow frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is cut. 

Tall Fescue 

Lower the mower deck height to cut at a height of 2 ½ – 3 ½ inches. Apply a 16-4-8 fertilizer in November at a rate of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. Water lawns in the morning with 1 inch of water per week (unless raining). Apply herbicide to control dandelions, wild onions, and cudweed.  

Mow frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is cut. 


  • Sow wildflower seeds such as poppies, hollyhock, bachelor’s buttons, and regional mixes. 


  • If you haven’t already, get your new spring flowering bulbs planted now. 

Shrubs and Trees 

  • Plant new trees and shrubs in the landscape, including roses. 

Fruits and vegetables 

  • Cold crops like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collards, and kale are made sweeter by frost so harvest them as long as possible. You can also use a cold frame to extend the season. 
  • Instead of harvesting less hardy late season crops, leave them in the garden and tuck them in with a thick layer of straw so they don’t freeze as early. This includes carrots, beets, leeks, rutabagas, turnips, winter radishes, chard, Chinese cabbage, and leaf lettuce. Cover the leaf lettuce first with floating row cover fabric which breathes but will keep the straw out of your salad. 
  • Start digging up winter carrots as soon as they are big enough.  
  • Harvest bunching onions, then plant more in a new well-drained site. 
  • Last chance to plant garlic!  
  • Be ready with blankets or plastic for covering lettuce and other half-hardy crops during the first hard freeze. 


  • Empty, clean, and store planters that will not be in use over the winter. Store them where they will be dry for the winter – this helps to reduce the chance of freeze damage. 
  • If you are using a rain barrel to conserve water and reduce stormwater runoff, they should be emptied and turned over to keep them dry during the winter months. Reconnect your downspout to direct winter rain away from your foundation. 
  • Continue to check houseplants for insects that may have come indoors as you brought the plants inside. 
  • Spread compost and shredded leaves over your vegetable garden and plow them under; you’ll be surprised at the difference this organic matter will make in the fertility, physical structure, and water-holding capacity of the soil. 
  • Store oil and gas powered equipment like lawnmowers and leaf blowers. Repair shops are in a slow period so arrange for a tune-up and blade sharpening now. 
  • Order seed catalogs now for garden planning in January. For variety, consider companies that specialize in old and rare varieties or wildflowers. 

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