Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: November to-do’s
An important part of the clean-up process is debris removal. I talked about putting your mower away and then a friend asked me about mowing those fallen leaves. Oh YES! If you’re mower is a mulcher, that’s the way to go. I mean who doesn’t want to skip the whole raking process, blisters and all?? Not only is it easier, it’s great for your lawn. Mulched leaves leave micronutrients on your lawn.
The trick is to NOT leave layers of leaves. They’ll mat down and suffocate your lawn. You could also pack those leaves up and leave them to make leaf mold, a great compost for use in the Spring. Caveat: it takes a couple of years.
Other areas of cleanup include fallen fruit. If you have fruit trees of any sort, oftentimes, that debris is a hiding spot for disease that overwinters and then presents itself next season. Cut back any perennials with slimy foliage like hosta and heuchera, for instance. Again, those leaves can harbor spores of fungi that can be rejuvenated in the Spring and start a disease cycle all over again.
- Don’t store your apples and pears with your veggies. They give off ethylene gas that speeds up the breakdown of your veggies and gives them an off flavor.
- Those green veggie saver bags with the holes in them work pretty well but so does a paper towel put into your lettuce bag, it absorbs moisture and helps prolong their life.
- Wait for the ground to freeze and then pile on a one inch layer of straw over your strawberries. Check your local climate zones for ground freeze. In zone 4, where I live, it’s typically around Dec. 6th give or take.
- As you empty your outdoor annual containers, you can compost that extra soil, or leave it be and reuse it next year. I change the soil out every couple of years. Other gardeners say don’t do it, but I’ve not had a problem.