Your November Landscaping Checklist
Michigan falls may be beautiful, but they’re far too short, right?
It seemed only a few weeks ago we were all enjoying glorious sun and midday highs in the 70s and even 80s. Nowadays? Not so much. Winter is definitely coming.
As the weather cools down, it’s tempting to lock all the gardening tools up in the shed and forget about them until next year. But actually, there’s a lot you can still do in November to keep your landscape healthy and prepare for spring.
Here are a few items to consider putting on your checklist this month:
Get Rid of the Leaves
Raking, bagging, and blowing leaves can be hard work, and sometimes you might even feel like there’s not much of a point. But trust us—there is.
A fallen leaf here and there isn’t a big deal, but when your lawn is covered in layers of leaves, your grass can become starved of sunlight and oxygen at a time when those critical nutrients are needed the most. Plus, heavy leaf cover also invites pests and parasites that can bring disease, including snow mold. And wet leaves left on a lawn all winter can be extremely hazardous to it.
If you have a lot of tree cover, don’t wait until the last minute to clear leaves just before snow hits. Keep up with raking as often as necessary throughout the fall so your grass can get as much nutrition as possible.
Bonus tip: Instead of bagging your leaves and disposing them, mulch them and use them around your trees and flower beds.
Prune Trees, Shrubs, and Hedges
November is just about the perfect month to prune. You want to get this done after the leaves have fallen off the trees (so you can see the health and structure of the branches), but before the heavy winter and snow hit.
Pruning damaged, diseased, or rubbing branches helps maintain the overall health of your plants and gives them the best opportunity to quickly spring back to life in the spring.
Weed and Repair Your Lawn
Late fall is actually a great time to address and fix any damage to your lawn, including weeds and bald spots. One last weeding session to clear your lawn of invasive species before snow hits can make a big difference by the spring.
For bald and thin spots, consider overseeding your lawn in November. Even though it’s too cold for the seeds to germinate, the cycles of freezing and thawing ground can help work the seed into the lawn so that it’s ready to grow in springtime. Late fall is the best time to do this, although even dormant seeding in winter can be effective.
Stock Up on Environmentally Friendly De-Icing Salt
This is Michigan, so you know that sooner or later you’ll need to throw some salt down to keep your driveways, sidewalks, and walkways safe for yourself and others. Better to do it now, before the heavy ice hits, than wait until after the first big storm.
But before you go out and buy a big bag or two, understand that the type of de-icing salt you buy matters a great deal. Standard sodium chloride or “rock salt” might be the cheapest option, but it’s also very hazardous to lawn health.
Although you’ll spend a little bit more money, we encourage you to choose safer alternatives like:
- Magnesium chloride. Safer (although still slightly hazardous) for plants than sodium or calcium chloride, and effective even in severe cold.
- Potassium chloride. Completely safe for the lawn, but not as effective in temperatures below 20 degrees.
- Calcium magnesium acetate or potassium acetate. Best combination of safety and performance, but also the most expensive option.
Start Planning for Spring Projects
If you’re looking to tackle a more significant landscaping or hardscaping project next spring, it’s best not to wait until March—or even January or February—to get the ball rolling.
During November, Bosch’s landscape designers and experts can come out to your property, check the layout, talk to you about what you want, and start working on the blueprints. This is easier to do before the snow hits.
Plus, you might be surprised to learn that, already by mid- and early winter, our spring calendar starts filling up. So if you want to be at the front of the line and get our team working on your project by March, now is the time to call.
So whether you’re looking to make a big change to your landscape next year, or just need a little help cleaning up before the winter hits, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call the team at Bosch’s! You can reach us at (616) 399-6861, or request a free estimate online.