New England

November, 2001
Regional Report

Add Lime to Gardens


It takes some time for powdered limestone to dissolve and begin its job of raising soil pH. Therefore, fall is a good time to add lime the gardens and lawn - it will have several months to dissolve before planting season begins in the spring. Depending on the results of a soil test, spread lime with a lawn spreader, using the powdered or pelleted forms. If your soil needs magnesium as well as lime, use dolomitic limestone.

Plant Trees and Shrubs


It's not too late to plant deciduous trees and shrubs. However, the earlier, the better, as the roots need time to get established before the winter comes. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. Unless your soil is very poor, don't add soil amendments but use the native soil to backfill the hole. Keep the tree or shrub well-watered this fall and it should leaf out fine in spring.

Protect Trees from Deer Damage


During the winter, hungry deer look for young, tender growth to eat. Often this means the branches of your new tree or shrub. To protect your plants in winter, wrap the tree or shrub with burlap or netting, covering the plant or at least extending the covering 5 to 6 feet high around the plant.

Make the Most of Fallen Leaves


Now that most of the leaves have dropped, rake and use them around the landscape. Leaves can be shredded with a lawn mower and used as mulch in a perennial garden. You can also add them to a compost pile or make a separate pile of leaves to decompose into leaf mold. By next year, you'll have partially decomposed organic materials that will be great for annual gardens.

Mulch Cold-Hardy Root Vegetables

If you have a proper root cellar or another method of storing root vegetables, go ahead and harvest them. If you don\'t, then wait to harvest. Instead, cover mature plantings of carrots, beets, and parsnips with a thick layer of straw. This will insulate the soil and prevent the ground from freezing, and you\'ll be able to harvest fresh produce into early winter by moving aside the straw and digging the roots.

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