- Healthy soil leads to healthy plants. Top dress our lawn and flower beds with a thin layer of compost (1/4 to 1/2″). This will have many long-term benefits.
- Don’t forget to add mulch. Adding mulch has many benefits, such as stabilizing the soil temperature and reducing weeds. Be careful though. Too much mulch at the base encourages rot and attracts insects.
- You can continue to transplant your perennials throughout the fall and winter, as long as they remain dormant.
- Make sure that your climbing plants and vines are securely fastened to their support. Nylon stockings work better than string. The stocking will stretch as the plant grows.
Shrubs & Trees:
- Most ornamentals enter into dormancy this time of year, and can be safely dug & replanted. The key is to get as much of the root system as possible and get the plant back into soil quickly. Only a transplanting fertilizer should be used.
- Large trees and shrubs should be staked to protect them from whipping winter winds.
- Spray fruit, shade, and flowering trees with dormant spray as soon as the leaves fall. This will help control insects and diseases.
Fruits & Veggies:
- Add aged manure to the beds.
- Secure canes to stakes to protect them from the wind.
- Strawberries should be covered with hay or straw (2″ deep).
- Apply a winter or fall type fertilizer. This will encourage root development and improve the overall color.
- Rake the leaves. You can choose to mow over them, turning them into mulch and thus adding important nutrients back to the lawn.
- The air in your home dries due to winter heating. Your houseplants need to be misted, or placed in pots on a pebble filled tray of water. This will ensure adequate humidity and moisture.
- Pot spring flowering bulbs for indoor color. Place the pots in a cool, dark place until new growth begins to emerge. Then move them into bright light.
- Continue to watch for insect or disease damage.
- Drain your hoses and put them away to prevent them from freezing or bursting.
- Before storing your mower, run it until it is out of fuel. Old gas can severely damage the engine.
- Clean and oil your garden tools for winter storage. Place sand and oil in a bucket, then slide tools in and out. This will clean them, and the oil coating will prevent rusting.
This time of year natural food sources for small creatures such as birds and squirrels dry up. Don’t’ just forget about these animals. Wildlife blocks and wild bird seed can feed a multitude and are relatively inexpensive. You don’t have to be a nature lover to enjoy the feeling of helping one of God’s creatures.