IN THE YARD: There is a lot of gardening this month | Home & Garden

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Raking the leaves: The leaves change and fall later than usual, about two to two weeks. There are still many trees – like oaks – that still have a crown full of green leaves. It looks like we’ll have to do as we did last year and rake the leaves until December. The process of color change and leaf fall is closely related to day length and temperature. We have shorter days that trigger the process, but temperatures appear to be above normal for this time of year, as evidenced by the lack of jackets and sweaters we usually see in October.

To mow the lawn: The grass is still growing. We will have to keep mowing until it stops. After a few weeks of dry weather, it finally rained in fairly decent amounts. As long as the warm temperatures stay with us, the grass will continue to grow. Cool season grass like fescue will continue to grow until the soil temperature drops well below 50 degrees. It also gives more time to sow new grass. We usually try to sow grass before the end of October, but the forecast looks good to keep sowing for a few more weeks.

Planting spring flowering bulbs: November has always been the time to plant tulips, daffodils, crocuses and other Dutch bulbs. Wait until the middle of the month and you can plant until December as long as the ground is not frozen. The reason we plant bulbs in the fall is that they have a “need for cooling”. These bulbs perform best if they establish roots early, then experience very cold to frozen soil while they are dormant. Small amounts of bulb booster can help, but everything the bulb really needs for spring is already in the bulb. Pay attention to the recommended planting depth provided on whatever container the bulbs come in to avoid planting too deep or too shallow.


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