Here's a checklist of what to do in the garden before the first snowflakes fly:
- Remove weeds
- Add mulch around plants to protect them from deepest freezes. Don't put the mulch right up against stems of plants or it could cause rot
- Plant spring-blooming bulbs
- Get rid of diseased or plants you know had pests on them
- Water once weekly at least - even though perennials are going dormant for winter, their roots still grow until the ground freezes
- Clean out veggie beds and give them a cover of compost so it soaks in deeply throughout winter
- Prune trees but only after they have lost their leaves
- Guard tree trunks against deer and sun scald with tree wrap
- Clean tools, sharpen blades, empty sprayers and clean out. Linseed oil works well on wood-handled tools
- Empty flower pots and containers, clean out with a stiff brush, and store for winter so no cracking occurs
- Collect and store seeds - you can collect the seeds of most annuals and plant them next year. Put the seeds in individual envelopes, label, and store in a cool dark place.
Remember to enjoy the last days of your yard. Take slow walks through your garden and landscape to take notes on future changes or improvements you'd like to make, plants you want to try, and just appreciating nature and how it gives so much to you!