November Gardening Tips

by Jane Ahrens

From Mélie’s Garden

This month I am happy to report that my six pumpkins are curing well and will be ready to go to my grandchildren in NYC for Halloween. In October, I wrote about my frustration growing pumpkins in my vegetable garden on Fishers Island, but after a bit of research on how to cure them I have been successful. I still am not sure if the very dry cool summer helped or the little bit of bleach and water I bathed the pumpkins in after I picked them did the trick. They continued to cure well on a covered porch and remained firm. I will try it all again next year, before I become comfortable with the process.

In November, we usually have a killing frost on Fishers Island. It often coincides with the full moon, which this year is November 8th. The Indians called this moon the “Beaver Moon or Frosty Moon”. The name “Beaver Moon” came from the fact that beavers complete their dams before the river freezes. So, we should also be busy as beavers finishing all our fall chores this month.

  1. Houseplants need to be sprayed with Insecticidal soap and brought inside before frost.
  2. Dahlias in the garden can be dug up after the first frost and stored in a box of peat moss or orchid mix and put in a cool place that doesn’t go below freezing.
  3. Perennials should be cut back and their foliage removed from the garden for a clean flowerbed.
  4. Vegetable gardens need to be clean and winter crops protected from the cold in a cold frame or hoop house.
  5. Remove weeds from all garden beds and do new edging before a hard freeze.
  6. Garden props like peony supports, tomato cages and ceramic pots should be removed and stored undercover.
  7. Blubs need to be planted outside or in pots for forcing. Pots can be stored in the same cool area with the Dahlia tubers, so they don’t freeze but stay nice and cool.
  8. Evergreens can have a dose of Hollytone and be wrapped in burlap or sprayed with Wiltproof, if necessary.
  9. Collect leaves and place them in a compost bin.

Invasive vines can be cut down to three inches. Mark the stem with orange surveyor tape. Once the vines are cut, go back and find the marked stem and give it another cut and paint the stem with a small brush dipped in a combination of Windex and Roundup. This is a very safe way to get rid of invasive plants according to experts, like Doug Tallamy. There is no spraying involved and the solution can be applied only to the plant you want to be rid of. Keep on the tape so you can continue to find it in the spring to see if the treatment worked!

Once the chores are done, relax and have a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay. Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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