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November Gardening Tips

*After chrysanthemums have stopped blooming, cut stems back close to the ground and dispose of stems and all dropped and dried leaves and branches.

*Reduce peony botrytis blight and hollyhock rust by removing and disposing of all old stems this fall. This will reduce the carryover of the diseases during the winter and you will have less trouble next year.

*Clean up rose beds. Be sure all diseased leaves are raked up and disposed. *Inspect trees and shrubs for bagworm capsules. Remove and destroy them to reduce next year's pest population.

*If you've purchased gourds this year as decorations, plan to grow them yourself next year. They make great garden projects for kids.

*Be sure not to store apples or pears with vegetables. The fruits give off ethylene gas which speeds up the breakdown of vegetables and will cause them to develop off flavors.

*After the ground freezes, mulch small fruit plants such as strawberries. One inch of straw or leaves is ideal for strawberries. Small branches may be used to keep mulch in place.

*Remove all mummified fruit from fruit trees and rake up and destroy those on the ground. Also, rake and dispose of apple and cherry leaves. Good sanitation practices reduce reinfestation of insects and diseases the following season.

*African violets do well when potted in rather small pots. A good general rule is to use a pot one third the diameter of the plant. Encourage African violets to bloom by giving them plenty of light. They can be in a south window during dark winter months. They bloom beautifully under fluorescent lights. In fact, they seem to prefer them.

*Clean power tools of all plant material and dirt. Replace worn spark plugs, oil all necessary parts, and sharpen blades. Store all tools in their proper place indoors, never outdoors where they will rust over the winter.

*Clean and fix all hand tools. Repaint handles or identification marks that have faded over the summer. Sharpen all blades and remove any rust.

*Order seed catalogs now for garden planning in January. For variety, consider companies that specialize in old and rare varieties or wild flowers.

*Bring out the bird feeders and stock them with bird seed for the birds. Remember to provide fresh water for them too.

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County is your on-line yard and garden educational resource. The information on this Web site is valid for residents of southeastern Nebraska. It may or may not apply in your area. If you live outside southeastern Nebraska, visit your local Extension office