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Home > Care > Tips for November  

Tips for November
by Brad Thompson

Leaf Drop:  With the cooler weather, all of us will start to experience some leaf drop (and so might some of our begonias!). Donít worry unduly about this because THIS IS NORMAL for many varieties at this time of year. Pick up dead leaves to eliminate fungal diseases from the growing area.

Down-Potting:  Watch now for plants which seem to be staying wet all the time and move them into smaller pots before the winter rains come. If theyíre staying too wet now, they will rot later on. To pot-down, remove as much of the old soil as you can from the root ball. Most of it will be soggy and sour and will fall off easily. Report of course, with new soil. Use a pot thatís just a little bigger than the root ball.

Pests and Diseases:  You may start getting mildew now that the weather is more overcast. I usually group plants that are especially prone to mildew together so I can spray them as a group instead of spot spraying around the yard.

Putting Up Plastic: If you plan on putting up plastic for the winter, you can probably start now, but donít cover all sides of the growing area because we might still get some hot weather. Even if you do plan on covering all sides eventually, you should make one or two sides that can be opened during the day and closed at night.

Earthworms:  If you have heard it is good to have earthworms in your pots and mix, it isn't true. They are beneficial in your yard and gardens where they help keep the soil aerated and help break down decaying matter, but they are not beneficial in your potted plants. In a potted plant they will break down the soil faster than you want and when they run out of other things to eat, they will just have to eat roots; so its best to keep them out if you can and for sure don't put them in on purpose.

Plant Regrouping:  Give your plants as much light as possible now. Many will continue to grow slowly through the winter. Cooler weather and shorter days slow things down, but quite a few varieties can still look nice. Start regrouping your plants for the winter. The angle of the sun, intensity of light, humidity and other growing conditions are far different now than in the summer. Areas that received plenty of light in summer may now be too shady. Some plants may want more protection for the winter, so see if you can find the best spot for each plant.



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