May Gardening Tips

November Gardening Tips
for the Willamette Valley

by Rod Smith

Former Iowa Certified Nurseryman and
Oregon Certified Nursery Professional

© 2002-2024 Rodney A. Smith
All rights reserved.


Spring flowering bulbs can be planted now if the soil is still workable. Plant in well drained soil amended with sand or Profile Soil Conditioner. Add Bonemeal or Bulb Food.

Bulbs can also be planted in pots, refrigerated for 6 weeks, then brought into room temperature for winter flowers. Paperwhite Narcissus do not need to be refrigerated first. They will bloom in six weeks.

Dig tuberous begonias, glads and dahlias and store them in vermiculite in a cool place. Dahlias can be divided by cutting through the center stem so there is a bud with each section of tubers. Broken tubers with no bud will not grow.

Deciduous trees and shrubs can be planted all winter if the soil is workable.


Sod can be laid if the weather is mild and the soil is workable.

Apply a moss killer and lime before moss is a problem.


Prune Roses back to waist high so the winter winds do not rock the plants and damage the roots.

Prune the old flowers off of Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) so the seeds do not become weeds. Buddleias can also be cut back to several inches tall to keep them smaller without losing any flowers.

Prune back tree limbs that are overly long or have weak crotches so they are not broken by the weight of ice and snow. Also remove any dead or diseased wood.


Apply Casoron around woody trees and shrubs to prevent weeds from appearing over winter and in early spring. Casoron will prevent weeds for a year. Be careful to keep it at least one foot away from lawns and bulbs.


Spread 1 to 3 inches of compost or mulch around trees, shrubs and flower beds. This protects soil from erosion and protects roots from freezing. Be careful not to bury low branches or pile mulch more than 1 inch deep around trunks since this might allow soil diseases to infect the plant.
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