Well, October was to have been one of our wettest months but that was not the case this year. The drought is still with us. As I submit this for editing on November 8, the one eighth inch of rain this morning was the only measurable amount in my gauge for the past month. Continue to conserve water but also do not give up gardening. Until about early January is the best time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials. Make holes roughly 2 to 3 times the diameter of the container and only deep enough so that the ground level is the same as that of the plant in the pot. The holes should be shaped generally as a square to prevent roots from growing in circles. Water in the new fill dirt thoroughly to eliminate air pockets. Mulch all plants whether established or newly planted to protect roots from cold weather and to maintain soil moisture. Mulch should be 3 to 5 inches deep leaving an open ring of about 6 inches around the base of the plant.

Read more: Out in the Garden: December 2011