As the Oklahoma weather cools and winter approaches my yard and garden are dominated by the deep crimson of the Japanese maples and the fiery reds of the dwarf Firepower Nandinas, who until now have been green. Yellow and orange leaves of the trees now fall upon the yard as the deep greens and blues of the evergreens begin to become the dominate colors.
You would think in all this color and beauty, there would be a break in the Oklahoma garden chores …but NO! Below are the “Original” Red Dirt Gardener’s tips for the month of November.
Continue planting spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, tulips, & hyacinths. I always cool my bulbs for 30 to 45 days prior to planting in December. (do not store bulbs in plastic bags or plastic containers as they might become diseased by the moisture).
Finish planting cool season spring flowering annuals like pansies, kale, flowering cabbage, alyssum and Johnny jump ups.
Transplanting of woody plants can begin after the first frost.
Spring and summer flowering perennials like iris and day lilies.
Trees, shrubs and vines.
During the first week fertilize cool season turf.
Continue controlling broadleaf weeds in well established warm and cool season lawns with post emergent weed killer. If you are opposed to chemicals as I am, manually remove the emerging weeds.
Put down 1/2” of compost if you have a poorly performing lawn. the compost also servers as an excellent dressing in your beds.
Foliar feed all actively growing plants like evergreens with Garret juice. (see recommended organic products)
Remove (deadhead) all spent blooms and dead tips on annuals and perennials.
Trim away all dead and dying.
Selectively prune spindly growth.
Do major pruning from mid November through February.
Compost all debris except of what is diseased
Due to the numerous pine diseases in Oklahoma I recommend disposing of all pine needles and cones by removing them from your property.
Do not prune newly planted trees or shrubs.
All bare ornamental beds for winter protection and help in preventing weeds in the spring.
DO NOT pile mulch up the trunk of trees as it will only cause the tree to become diseased. see “Red Dirt Gardening’s 5 Tips for Mulching Trees”
Continue mowing cool season lawns.
Save those leaves and branches to chipper shred and use for mulch in your beds.
The Oklahoma wind still dries out our Oklahoma red dirt lawn and garden. Though we do not need to water as often, vegetation still needs water so water at least once a month if the soil is dry.
Water 24 hours before a freeze. This will help to prevent winter freeze and plant death.
If You Have A Water Feature
Now is a good time to lay a screening material, anchored by stones over the pool portion of your Oklahoma water feature to keep out the debris. As soon as all the leaves have fallen and have been raked up, remove the screening material and store until next year.
November’s Last Weekend Chore
As Oklahoma Red Dirt Gardening chores begin to slow down, I find that November is also a good time to clean up and winterize all my tools. This includes draining the fuel from my power equipment. As well as cleaning and sharpening my tools. They are stored with a quick spray of lubricant on them to prevent rusting.
Click here for tips on winterizing your sprinkler system in the OKC and surrounding areas.
Don’t forget to feed and water the birds!
The “Original” Red Dirt Gardener