In November it is time to spend time with family and friends enjoying fall favorites dishes with pumpkin, apples, and more. Here are some garden tips, educational opportunities, and events for November. Events include A Forest Journey, Nature Matters Lecture Series, Saturday Rambles – Seneca Creek Greenway, Music on the Farm and Sensory Sunday at the Agricultural Historic Park, and more!
- When planning your wildlife-friendly backyard don’t forget to include native trees and shrubs that produce fall and winter persistent fruits.
- Clean, sharpen, and store your garden tools.
- Store terra cotta pots in a shed or protected areas.
- Turn off outdoor water valve and store hoses.
- Take garden photos and make notes in your garden journal.
- Start collecting plant seeds for next year and for trading.
- Order spring-flowering bulbs to arrive for planting this fall.
- Sign up your friends and family for garden magazine subscriptions as holiday gifts.
Support our local farmers! Visit a local farmers’ market near you. Download Montgomery County’s Office of Agriculture Farmer’s Market Flyer to find a farmer’s market near you.
Flowers and Groundcovers:
- Continue planting hardy, spring-flowering bulbs.
- Clean out and store containers.
- After blooming, cut mums back to 6 inches above ground.
- Cut back perennials that have turned to mush. Leave others with seed heads for birds.
- Continue to deadhead spent flowers.
- Continue to divide and transplant perennials.
- Prune and mulch hybrid tea roses.
- Force spring bulbs for indoor blooms this January by potting them up, watering thoroughly, and placing them in your vegetable crisper for about 10 weeks.
- Take cuttings from coleus and begonias to propagate and over-winter indoors.
- Start seeds of pansies, calendula, flowering cabbage, kale, and other fall annuals.
- Pests to watch for: voles
- Diseases to watch for: Blackspot on roses; powdery mildew, rust, bacterial diseases, fungal leaf spot.
- See UMD’s HGIC’s November Flower tips for more details.
Trees and Shrubs:
- Trees and shrubs can be planted until the ground freezes.
- Dig hole now if you will be planting a “live” Christmas tree.
- Plant evergreens for winter interest.
- No more fertilizing for the year. But planting is still OK.
- Water slowly and deeply if weather is very dry.
- Look out for any Poison Ivy vines, which will turn crimson in the fall and be easy to distinguish from other vines.
- Continue removing diseased leaves.
- Remove fallen, diseased leaves.
- Check for bagworms: pick off, bag, and dispose of them.
- Mulch or compost healthy leaves.
- If your conifers start shedding their needles or your spring bulb foliage starts peeking out of the ground, don’t worry. This is normal for our autumn cycle.
- Prune evergreens to get in shape for fall/winter.
- Prune and thin shrubs that have already flowered.
- Water newly planted trees and shrubs weekly or as needed.
- Pests to watch for: adelgids, aphids, bagworms, borers, caterpillars, leafminers, scale, sawfly, spidermites, voles, and webworms.
- Diseases to watch for: powdery mildew
- See HGIC’s November Trees and Shrubs Tips for more details.
Herbs, Veggies, and Fruit:
- Cover carrots, parsnips, and turnips with straw to extend harvest.
- Protect fig trees from freezing by piling up leaves around them.
- Plant garlic for harvest next spring.
- Harvest the last of your vegetables and till compost into the beds.
- Pick pumpkins at a local pick-your-own farm or visit a farmer’s market.
- Mulch strawberry beds for winter.
- Remove this year’s fruiting raspberry canes down to the ground.
- This is a good time to have your vegetable garden and landscape soils tested.
- Harvest leaves of herbs used in cooking (rosemary, basil, sage) in the early morning for best flavor.
- Harvest sweet potatoes.
- Watch your pumpkins and squash. Harvest them when their rinds are dull and hard.
- Preserve gourds and dry flowers for display in the fall.
- Watch for insect and disease problems throughout your garden.
- Look out for slug eggs grouped under sticks and stones. They are the size of BBs and pale in color.
- Pests to watch for: asparagus beetle, aphids, cabbage worms, corn earworm, cutworms, and tomato hornworm
- Diseases to watch for: Fungal, bacterial, viral diseases
- Here are some more fruit and vegetable gardening tips for November from UMD’s HGIC.
- Have soil tested (every 3 years minimum).
- Fertilize your lawn and reseed if needed.
- Apply fertilizer and lime to turfgrass based on soil tests and UME recommendations.
- Begin mowing leaves into turf to add organic matter and nutrients.
- Keep newly seeded lawns well watered!
- Apply grub control to your lawn.
- Rake leaves, shred, and gather in compost piles.
- Turn your compost pile weekly and don’t let it dry out. Work compost into your planting beds.
- Diseases to watch for: brown patch, and red thread
- Pests to watch for: Grubs
- See HGIC’s November Lawn Tips for more details.
- Bring in house plants if you took them out for the summer.
- Mid-month, pot amaryllis for winter holiday bloom.
- Bring Amaryllis indoors before a hard freeze. Repot every other year at this time.
- Pot up Paper Whites and Amaryllis for holiday blooming.
- Clean the leaves of your indoor houseplants to prevent dust and film to build-up.
- Set up a humidifier for indoor plants or at least place them in pebble trays.
- Reduce fertilizing of indoor plants (except cyclamen).
- Rotate houseplants to promote even growth.
- Do not place live wreaths or greenery in-between your door and a glass storm door, especially if the doorway is facing south. This placement will “cook” the arrangement on a sunny day.
- For readying Christmas cactus and poinsettias for holiday blooming, see holiday blooming tips: Poinsettia Plant Care, Holiday Plant Care
- Remove old leaves, damaged stems.
- Monitor houseplants that are outside for insect problems.
- Fertilize houseplants now that they are actively growing again.
- Repot root-bound houseplants and start fertilizing them.
- Pests to watch for: aphids, mealybug, spider mites, whitefly and scale.
- See HGIC’s November Houseplants Tips for more tips.
Indoor/Outdoor Insect and Wildlife Tips:
- Start feeding birds to get them in the habit for the winter.
- Caulk and seal your home to prevent wildlife from coming indoors.
- Vacuum up any ladybugs that come in the house.
- Don’t put your birdbath away. Birds need fresh water for drinking and bathing throughout the fall season. Clean frequently and keep filled with fresh water.
- Check for vole problems and set up traps.
- Check for mosquito breeding grounds. Dump out any water that sits stagnant for more than three days.
- Switch your deer deterrent spray.
- See HGIC’s November Insect Tips for more details.
- Watch for: carpenter ants, flies, stink bugs, termites, rabbits, raccoons, groundhogs, deer, moles, snakes, squirrels, and voles.
- For more information on wildlife management and attracting wildlife see HGIC’s November Wildlife tips.
Source: University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) and the Washington Gardener.
Please Support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club
Hello Friends, Neighbors,
Please support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club! Your donations will help us continue to provide garden-related programs to the community and pay for maintaining and landscaping the Mill Creek Towne main entrances.
We accept donations throughout the year. Thanks to all of you that have recently donated as well as those of you who have supported us in the past years! Thanks for your continued support of the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club and our community programs!
More events are being added regularly. Please check back often!
Save the dates for these upcoming events! Events include A Forest Journey, Nature Matters Lecture Series, Saturday Rambles – Seneca Creek Greenway, Music on the Farm and Sensory Sunday at the Agricultural Historic Park, and more!
Varied Locations, dates, and times
- Help you select and care for annual and perennial plants, shrubs and trees.
- Determine if you need to test your soil.
- Provide you with information on lawn care.
- Identify weeds, beneficial and noxious insects, and plant diseases and remedies.
- Teach you how to use pesticides, mulch and compost.
- Guide you in pruning trees and shrubs.
- Provide you with options for managing wildlife.
- Provide you with gardening resources.
- Help you submit a plant sample for diagnosis
Plant Clinics are held at several sites in the county on a weekly basis and at special events such as garden festivals and the county fair. Regularly scheduled Plant Clinics are located at public libraries and farmers’ markets throughout the county as well as at the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase. There are also clinics three days per week at Brookside Gardens. The busiest season is April through September, but some clinics are open year-round. Bring your plant samples and questions to one of these locations in Montgomery County, MD (see link below to find a location near you):
Maryland Emancipation Days
Nature Matters Lecture Series
Wednesday, November 8–The Private Life of an Unloved Bird
6:45 pm-8:15 pm
Meadowside Nature Center, Rockville
$8 Registration Required | Ages 14+
Join us for this special evening lecture series that focuses on current topics of the natural world. Light hot and cold appetizers, prepared foods, beer and wine will be available as you mingle with your fellow science and nature enthusiasts, followed by an engaging presentation by one of our experts in the field.
September 8 – January 2018 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues. through Saturday | 1-5 p.m. Sundays
Brookside Nature Center, Wheaton
This rich and inviting interactive exhibit, created by the Franklin Institute, is inspired by the Harvard classic A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilization by science writer John Perlin. It sheds new light on the history of the use of wood throughout the world, on forest products (from paper to lifesaving pharmaceuticals) and on the relationship between forests and the benefits of trees.
Saturday Rambles – Seneca Creek Greenway
Sat. November 18th, 2017 9:30am to 11:30am
The autumn months are perfect for getting outside! Charmed by vibrant colors, invigorated by cooler temperatures, and awed by migrating monarchs and birds, hikers in Montgomery County return home with memories that warm the cold months ahead. Our walks are on natural surface trails, and usually 3 miles in length. We stop frequently to listen, observe and learn. Directions to the trail head will be emailed two to three days prior to the hiking date to registered participants. Dress for whatever the weather brings us and bring water to quench your thirst!