Most of November is cleanup and there certainly is a lot to do in that area, as I still have distressed trees that need to be trimmed or in some cases removed. But another task is to prepare beds for planting next Spring. Today I did that by the fence, as I am putting in a privacy screen of five Arborvitae (Thuja Orientalis 'Emerald Green'. These are narrow columnar shaped Arborvitae. They will grow about 3 feet wide and 12 feet high in about 10 years. The plants I bought were half price at HD last month and they are wintering over in a holding area in pots that are sunk in the ground. They are about 5 feet high so they have some growing to do. I'm building a mound about a foot high by the fence in which to plant them so that they will be taller sooner.
First I had to kill the grass in this area. Since I wasn't planting until Spring I decided not to use Roundup, but to use a chemical free method. I place flattened cardboard and layers of newspaper in the planting bed. This was after I used string and lime to line out the area and then removed the grass along the edge of the bed. The cardboard newspaper barrier will eventually break down and decompose. But not until the grass beneath has been killed due to lack of light. I took some soil from an area on the west side of the property. This soil looks like it was stored there for many years in a pile. It's full of roots and weeds, but I'm sifting it before bringing it over to build the mound. I'll add some organic material to this area as well as soil. By the Springtime it should be all set to move the Arborvitae without the use of herbicide.
I have another bed to prep this fall, but I don't know if I will get to it as there is so much cleanup to do. We'll see.