11 excuses to get outside and enjoy this warm, sunny fall weather in Western New York

Take photos of your garden now. It will help you as you plan for spring. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
Take photos of your garden now. When you start planning for spring, the images will help you see what new plants you might need. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

What a forecast! For the next few days, it’s supposed to be unseasonably warm in Western New York, with highs in the high 60s– even 70s– Fahrenheit. That’s too good to miss.

Need an excuse to get outside and enjoy this great November weather? Here are 11.

Prepare for spring by taking photos of your garden now

There probably aren’t many flowers in your garden right now, but that’s why this is a good time to snap a few photos.

In January when the holidays are over, you’re going to want to start planning for spring. The photos you take now will help because you’ll be looking at the bare bones of your garden. You’ll be able to see the size and shape of plants without being distracted by flowers.

Do you need something tall? Something for autumn or winter interest? You’ll be able to answer questions like those with these photos.

The photos will also help you remember what plants you actually have in your garden. Get more tips on keeping track of your plants here.

Measure your garden

If a plant will get three feet wide, how many plants will you need to fill your garden bed? It helps if you actually know the dimensions of your garden.

You could wait until January to measure your gardens, but they might be knee-deep in snow by then. In April, the yard might be too wet to walk through.

Now is a great time to measure your gardens so you can plan for spring.

Label your perennials

Sure, you know what that plant is now, but in spring when it’s just a couple of puny leaves, you’re going to ask yourself, “Is that a flower or a weed?”

Make sure you label your perennials, and you may even want to use more than one tag. Sometimes the plant tags tip over during the winter, and if the tag is lying down between two plants, it’s difficult to know which plant the tag was supposed to go with. I sometimes surround a plant with markers. That way even if weeds sprout before your prized perennial does, it will be easier to know which is which.

Bring in your rain barrels

Drain your rain barrels and take them inside. If they fill up with water, then freeze, your barrels could crack. (I learned that lesson the hard way!)

Bring in your ceramic pots and glass ornaments

Like rain barrels, some containers will crack in the cold weather. Delicate items such as glass ornaments might tip over and break, and decorations that you have hung on a fence or the side or your garage might blow away. If you don’t want to take a chance losing an item, bring it inside.

shasta daisy in autumn garden
Do some weeding or just stroll through your gardens. You might find some surprises, like this shasta daisy that bloomed a few days ago. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Do some weeding

The bad news is that every time I look closely at any of my garden beds, I find more maple seedlings and other tree seedlings. The good news is that they’re tiny and easy to yank out. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort if you pull them when they’re small.

While you’re out in your garden, you may find some surprises. The blooms on my shasta daisy faded weeks ago, but another bloom just popped up!

In a different spot, I seem to have a corn plant that probably found its way into the garden from the bird feeder. It’s amazing how well the plant has developed in that shady spot.

Get out there so you don’t miss these interesting surprises.

Plant perennials and bulbs

If you haven’t already gotten your perennials and spring bulbs planted, get them in the ground before the ground freezes. What a fun task to do in this wonderful weather!

Water your perennials

If you planted perennials in recent weeks, make sure you keep them well watered until the ground freezes. Find out why watering in autumn will help your perennial through the winter.

Mow your lawn

This may be the last time you’ll have to do it all year.

Rake your leaves

Remember to put those leaves to good use in your compost pile or use them as mulch.

Take a walk

This warm weather will be fleeting. The mornings may be cool and temperatures may dip as the sun sets. If you can’t be in your garden while the weather is at it best, try to slip outside for a walk to enjoy the sunshine wherever you are.

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