Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

November, 2008
Regional Report

Preserve the Harvest

Freeze, can, or otherwise preserve produce you won't be able to use within a few days. Dry herbs by placing them in a warm oven until they're crispy. Some crops, including broccoli, cabbage, and leeks, tolerate the cool, crisp weather of fall, but should be harvested before hard freezes set in.

Adjust Soil pH

Fall is a good time to test your soil. By adding any necessary amendments now, they'll have time to break down over the winter. Cooperative Extension offices do soil tests for a nominal fee, and the test results include recommendations for improving the soil. At the very least, test your soil's pH. Most plants prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8 (a pH of 7 is neutral). Our region's soils tend to be acidic and require the addition of lime to "sweeten" the soil.

Collect Decorations

Dry flowers, collect grapevines and assorted seedpods, and prune berry-laden branches for drying to use in fall decorations. Press flowers for framed collages.

Bring Houseplants Indoors

Begin preparing houseplants for the move indoors. If possible, acclimate them over the course of a few weeks to the dryer, warmer, darker indoor conditions by placing them in a transition area such as a porch. Inspect plants for pests before bringing them indoors.

Weed the Garden

Any weeding you do now will reduce many times over your weeding chores in the spring. Pull weeds before they set seed, and you eliminate the task of pulling all those little seedlings. A single weed plant may set hundreds, or even thousands, of seeds, so don't delay.


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