November Lawn & Garden To-Do List

Fall gardening chores tend to have a “bedtime” theme – before your plants begin their long winter’s nap, they need to be tended and tucked cozily into their beds. Fall gardening is also an exercise in delayed gratification – new plants will barely put down roots before going dormant, cleaned and amended beds won’t show their gratitude until spring, and bulbs disappear underground, making you wonder if they’ll ever reappear.

Don’t despair – instead, use this season to clean up, organize, and take stock of your lawn and garden.

In November, most of the country experiences the first frost or freeze, and with it, the onset of winter dormancy. You can continue many of the gardening chores of September and October as long as your soil isn’t frozen.

Here are some additional lawn and garden chores to consider for November:

Shrubs and Trees

  • After the leaves have fallen, you can once again start pruning deciduous trees and shrubs. If your area normally has a warm spell or “Indian Summer,” hold off until you’re sure the plants are dormant so they won’t put out new growth.
  • Be on the lookout for berry-covered branches for use in indoor decorations.
  • Continue planting container-grown ornamental trees and shrubs until the ground freezes.
  • Water evergreens until freezing weather, but make sure they don’t get waterlogged.
  • Start shopping for a live Christmas tree. If you’re planning to plant it after the holidays, save yourself some work by digging the hole now while the soil is workable, and cover the soil with burlap.
  • In zones 8 and warmer, plant bare-root roses, trees, and shrubs, as well as perennials, ornamental grasses, and winter vegetables.
  • When you prune, keep some of the cuttings to root indoors.
  • Winterize roses after the first frost, but before the ground freezes. Prune canes back to 3’- 4’ or tie up climbers. Then mound soil at least 12” deep and 12” wide around the stem and crown.

Perennials stay green as long as possible to soak up nutrients for the winter.

Perennials and Bulbs

  • In colder climates, dig up chrysanthemums after they finish blooming if you want to keep them over the winter.
  • After the leaves turn yellow, you can divide and transplant fall-blooming bulbs such as autumn crocus, colchicum, and sternbergia.
  • Continue planting winter and spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Check on your stored tender bulbs to make sure they’re in a cool, dry place. Make sure you have them labeled so you’ll know what they are.
  • If the ground isn’t frozen, you can continue to plant perennials. Look for discounted perennials at the garden center!
  • In frost-free areas, you can keep on planting bulbs that don’t require a winter’s chill, such as anemone, amaryllis, calla lilies, freesia, lilies, and garlic.


  1. i have chince bugs i think in the grass and on my crocuse plants , a lite fild of wi=hite film like fungus but it is thick and dusty looking anything i can put on to kill this , hatried bleach , vinegar , proffesional chince bug killer , so far no good, also have tangelo and gratefruit tree on the river bank in back yard of cocoa beach florida, any recommendations.? also can any grpe vines or fruit bearing vines grow here ? thanks , larry

  2. I have a really bad problem with dollar weed in my lawn! I know about weed and feed fertilizer,but every time I use it, it kills all my grass to. I follow the instructions on the bag very carefully, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I live in North West FL, (Pensacola).
    I have centipede grass mostly, with other grass mixed in, like Bahia. Can you please help me, I am desperate!! Thanks

  3. hi my name is Cornelius I’m a first-time home owner I received my home through Habitat for Humanity I’m disabled and I’m a veteran and I have a question for you I purchase my home about 4 years ago habitat put grass in my yard but by the next summer all the grass in my yard was dead because I live in Florida and I have big oak trees shading my whole yard I’ve put hundreds of dollars into trying to grow grass in my yard unsuccessfully I’ve tried so hard and it did not work I’ve tried seeds and it did not work can you please help me because I don’t want my home to look throwing away because I work too hard to get it and too hard to keep it and I definitely want it to look presentable even if it’s just the front yard I’ll be happy with getting grass and making the front yard look attractive my backyard have and it don’t matter as much as my front yard does to me so like I say can you please help


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