University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
STORING POTS AND OTHER
NOVEMBER GARDENING TIPS
Charlie Nardozzi, Senior
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
Storing clay pots for winter,
checking houseplants for pests, and proper care of new trees are some
gardening tips for this month.
Clay and ceramic pots can
crack over the winter if left outdoors with soil in them or if they
fill with rain. When the water freezes, it expands, and so does wet
and store upside down under a tarp or bring them in out of the weather.
Plants that summered outdoors
may have brought in freeloaders that are now multiplying like crazy in
our heated homes. Inspect the undersides of the leaves for
webbing of spider mites. Leaf axils (where they attach to the stems)
favorite hiding places of mealybugs. Dark-colored scale insects hug the
and veins of the leaves and can be invisible unless you look closely.
Insecticidal soap is most effective on soft-bodied insects like spider
aphids, and mealybugs. Scale is trickier to control and horticultural
the best option.
Evergreens don't go totally
dormant so they benefit from a deep watering at this time of year. This
helps prevent drought stress if the winter snow cover is scant.
Plastic spiral tree wraps and
brown paper wraps can protect trunks from sunscald and gnawing by
rodents. Put them in place before the snow falls so they will extend
way to the ground or else the critters can sneak underneath the snow
on the lower bark that's unprotected.
If you've recently planted a
tree and it absolutely must be staked for a short period of time, be
sure the ties aren't tight so the tree can sway in the breeze. Wind
actually increase root growth and trunk girth and result in a stronger
If you saved amaryllis bulbs
from last year and they have had a dry rest period, watch for signs of
shoot growth, which signals that it's time to pot them up. Use a
pot only slightly larger than the bulb diameter. Set a bulb into
potting mix so one-half to one-third of the bulb protrudes above the
Place the pot in a warm well-lit spot, and don't water it again until
leaf or flower shoot starts to grow. Follow this same process for newly
It's time to spread winter
mulch. Cover the ground around tender perennials with rotted leaves,
bark, straw (not weedy hay), evergreen boughs, or other loose mulch.
not to smother the crowns with any material that will mat down. Mulch
and shrubs but don't let it touch the plants' bark or it can encourage
harbor mice and voles that are late on the prowl. Mulching sooner than
later will help hold
some of this season's ground heat. Only
a couple inches of mulch will help prevent soil temperatures from large
fluctuations—something plants don't like while trying to harden off
Other gardening tips for this month include stocking
up on bird seed and suet for winter, setting up a heated bird bath,
small evergreens from either winter winds or road salt spray with a
screen, storing pesticides in dry and non-freezing locations, and
that stored summer bulbs such as gladiolus and dahlias don’t freeze
Return to Perry's Perennial