This nice fall weather has helped me get my fall chores done without freezing to death like in other years. In this article, I will share some things that might need to be done yet in your yards.

I have cleaned off my vegetable garden and pulled up the plants that were still growing. If you had any diseased plants make sure and get them out of your garden. Don’t put them in your compost pile as you don’t want to spread the disease into your compost. Dispose of them elsewhere.

Annual plants should be cleaned up and disposed of. I leave my perennial plants up for winter interest and for the birds. Another reason to leave the stalks is that some good insects lay eggs in those hollow stems for next season. Thoughts have changed about totally cleaning off your perennials beds, to leaving the major clean-up for spring. If you have diseased plants, however, they need to be trimmed back and removed from the perennial garden.

Bulbs should be planted now. Don’t forget to add bone meal to encourage strong root development. Just a reminder bulbs should be planted at a depth of 2 to 3 times the vertical height of the bulb. My personal reminder is that deer don’t like daffodils, so if you have a deer issue, plant them.

It is getting too late in the season to try and reseed your yard. The new grass would not have time to germinate and get established before winter sets in. With that being said, I have prepared bare spots in my lawn for a dormant seeding. I have had good luck with putting down grass seed just before the first snowfall. It is too early to do that yet, hopefully, we won’t have snowfall quite yet. I am looking more toward November to get that job done. You can still mulch those leaves and leave them on your yard. A fall fertilizer application is very important for your lawn.

I bring my glazed and clay pots in the garage for the winter so they won’t crack and break. I also tip over my birdbaths to prevent cracking or you can make your birds real happy and get a birdbath heater for the winter to keep water available for them.

Continue to water trees and shrubs this fall until the ground freezes. This month we are at a deficit for rain, so it is important to keep things watered before winter. Wrap young trees with either a paper tree wrap or plastic wraps that are available. You don’t want rabbits or deer or any other varmints making a meal of your tree.

I hope these tips will help you get your yard and gardens ready for their winter nap. I enjoy the change of seasons that living in Minnesota provides for us. Now I can think of the successes and failures of this year’s growing season and plan for next year.

Lorrie Rugg is the Steele County Master Gardener Coordinator.

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