What to See and Do in the Zone 6 November Garden


The weather may be bleak, but the garden contains flashes of color and life. Bundle up and tidy up for winter!

What to See

  • Most trees and shrubs are losing their leaves, but fruits cling to the beautyberry, snowberry, and winterberry shrubs.
  • Grasses have taken on their fall colors and rustle in the November winds.
  • Frost outlines the leaves of broadleafed evergreens like holly and boxwood in early morning.

Japanese maple leaf

Delicate Japanese maple leaves are turning right now.

What to Do

  • If plants were damaged or diseased, remove their foliage. If not and you can stand it aesthetically, leave as many plants standing in your beds as possible—it provides great winter cover and protection for the plants.
  • If you have fruit trees, clean up under and around them to prevent diseases next year.
  • Mow leaves right into the lawn, or mulch them for use in the compost pile.
  • Monitor your garden for water needs. We often overlook them in the late fall and winter.
  • Prune as necessary to remove dead or damaged branches, but hold off on other pruning until late winter.
  • Mulch your root crops. You can continue to harvest carrots and beets into winter if you lay a thick layer of mulch over them.
  • Finish planting your bulbs, then pot some up for forcing. If you want amaryllis and paperwhites to bloom for Christmas, pot those up now too.
  • Keep mowing at minimum height of 3.0” as needed. And keep mulching those leaves into the soil (and using in garden if you’d like). November is also a great time for the last turf fertilizer application of the year.





Amy graduated from DePauw University with a degree in physics, a lifelong love of theatre, and a problem-solving style that combines the approaches from both those fields. A Master Gardener and long-time communications professional, Amy conducts gardening seminars and blogs about gardening in addition to her work with Spotts.

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