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Gardening: Your Nov.-Dec. to-do list

It's getting chilly in the garden.

Here's a list of chores for November and December from the Midlands Master Gardeners Association Calendar and "Month-by-Month Gardening in the Carolinas" by Clemson's Bob Polomski.

NOVEMBER

- Apply fertilizer to cool-season grasses before Thanksgiving. Water well after fertilizing.

- Set out asparagus any time from now to early spring. Plant fruit trees, blueberries, blackberries and bunch grapes.

- When fruit trees are bare of fruit, carefully prune all water sprouts. Support branches loaded with fruit to prevent damage from high winds. Keep ground cover under pecans mowed.

- Plant evergreens and spring-flowering trees and shrubs.

- Finish buying and planting hardy winter annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

- Set out decorative cabbage and kale. Cut back mums to within a few inches of the ground after they have finished blooming.

DECEMBER

- Transplant deciduous trees. Plant camellias.

- Prune crape myrtles.

- Give evergreens extra water if dry winds occur with dry days.

- Lightly fertilize winter annuals such as pansies, ornamental cabbage and kale.

- Do not fertilize perennials, shrubs or dormant lawns.

- When cutting branches from hollies and other evergreens for indoor holiday decorations, be sure to maintain the natural form of the plant. Limit pruning of other plants to the removal of damaged or dead branches.

- Wait to harvest collards, kale and spinach until after one or two frosts. Frost improves the flavor of these vegetables.

- Mulch deeply around figs to keep the roots from freezing.

TIPS ON CREATING A RAIN GARDEN

Learn how to create a rain garden at a free workshop Nov. 7 at Bookman Road Elementary School.

The session runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and lunch is provided.

The event, which includes an interactive, hands-on rain garden installation, demonstration and planting, is sponsored by the Richland County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Richland County Conservation Commission, the countywide stormwater consortium, East Piedmont Resource Conservation and Development and is hosted by Bookman Road Elementary.

The event is free, but registration is required. Call (803) 576-2080 , e-mail soilandwater@rcgov.us or see richlandonline.com/Departments/Conservation/conservation.htm

The school is at 1245 Bookman Road, Elgin.

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