|Lawns. Overseed turf and mow-what-grows lawns with perennial ryegrass now as a pretty green blanket that does 3 important jobs. Ryegrass offers winter protection for new or damaged lawns, works its roots into the soil to stabilize and prevent erosion, and provides green clippings for the very brown compost of winter.
Shrubs and Trees. Plant, plant, plant. There’s no better time than now to put in new woody plants and the nurseries are full of fine choices. November also offers the best conditions for transplanting these beauties. Read back though my blogs for ideas, or put your own to work now. Whatever woody you are planting, dig a hole wider and slightly deeper than the pot or rootball to give it room to grow. Work some organic matter into the soil you dig out (you know I’m using Mighty Grow) and plant firmly so the shrub does not sink with the first watering. I like to fill around the rootball halfway, tamp the soil, and finish the backfill. Water after planting and blanket with mulch right away.
Perennial Plants. Some do, and some don’t, go brown with the first frost. If you grow lots of this plant category, that’s a good thing, since you can cut them back in shifts. Don’t leave browned stalks and old flowers sitting in the bed. The sight is depressing, but worse, can become a haven for fungus diseases.
Annual Flowers. Remember to fertilize overwintering annuals like pansies regularly through the winter. I like to use a soluble weekly as long as temperatures are primarily above freezing and less often when they are not. Here, that’s usually January and February, when I fertilize monthly. Same regime goes for parsley, too, by the way.
Leafy Vegetables. Harvest leaf lettuce, swiss chard, mustard, turnip, and collard greens as they reach 4-6 inches tall. Their flavor is wonderful at that size! After you pick, fertilize to get them growing again. Keep a plastic cloche nearby in case temperatures drop suddenly and cover the plants to continue picking greens at their peak texture.