To do in the Garden

Fall garden to-do list
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Check any plants installed in the past year for water throughout winter. Plants need about half as much water in winter as they do when it’s warmer-but they still need water.

You still have time to plant spring bulbs! They are often on sale this time of year so they're a great garden bargain. Get your spring-blooming bulbs in by the end of December for best results!

Rake fallen leaves from around perennials and shrubs to avoid smothering and diseases. However, leaves can protect perennials and bulbs that are fully dormant (invisible underground).

You can usually begin pruning trees and shrubs that are best pruned in winter beginning Dec. 15, unless weather remains unusually warm.

If you haven't put it down yet, adding layer of mulch helps keep soil temperatures more even in winter, retains moisture, and protects plant roots.


Avoid placing houseplants where they get drafts from heater vents. The extremely dry air can cause leaves to dry out and turn brown , even if you're watering the soil enough.

Pebble trays or gentle misting can help houseplants better tolerate the dry air of your home. (But don't mist plants with fuzzy leaves, cactus, or succulents.)



We can't stress this enough: Plants, especially those installed within the past 12 months, still need water in winter. Check soil a few inches down to determine if watering is needed. Water thoroughly before predicted cold snaps to reduce winter burn damage.

During snow events, gently shake accumulating snow off of trees, shrubs and evergreens to avoid breakage.

Perennials may become dislodged by frost-heave during cold snaps. Push gently back into place when soil is thawed.

Keep Pansies deadheaded to reduce disease and encourage continuous blooms.

In mild weather, cool season weeds such as henbit and chickweed can become problems. Keep an eye out for them and pull or treat with herbicide on warm days.

Spray roses with sulfur-lime now to help control leaf diseases in summer.

If you’ve had issues with bagworms in the past, spray affected trees with horticultural dormant oil to smother overwintering eggs.


If you store summer bulbs like Dahlias or Tuberous Begonias over winter, check them for signs of rot or shriveling.

Regular rinsing of the leaves with water can help reduce winter insect problems on houseplants.

Common winter problems on houseplants are spider mites, mealy bugs and aphids. Treat with horticultural oil or soap, or a pesticide labeled for indoor use.



Apply first round of pre-emergent herbicide to lawns. If applied in early February, you have time to reseed in 8-12 weeks.

Fertilize established bulbs as they emerge.

Fertilize fescue lawns around Valentine ’s Day. Excess or late fertilizing will increase your risk of Brown Patch disease.

Spray for wild onion in lawns late Feb/early March using a product containing 2,4-D.

Finish up your winter pruning. Pruning early bloomers now is possible, i.e. it won’t harm the plant, but you’ll miss out on blooms.


How To

Featuring care information for this season's indoor plants.

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