The holiday season will soon be here, and of course your garden is all put to bed for the winter, right? In case it isn’t, here is a checklist of things you can still do – and things that now should wait until spring or next fall.
➢ Do: Weed. The new young winter weeds are growing enthusiastically. Pull them now before they bloom and set seed for next year.
➢ Do: Finish cutting back perennial plants
➢ Do: Bring in any house plants that were outside for the summer. De-bug them; pests that were kept under natural control outside will multiply unbelievably in the warm air of the house.
➢ Do: Use newspaper to cover tender annuals that are still in good condition on the first couple of frosty nights. You may get a couple more weeks of flowers.
➢ Do: Think about protecting ‘deer candy,’ such as azaleas, with netting or deer repellent.
➢ Do: Plant lilies; this is the right time for them. It’s a bit late to plant other bulbs, but they will survive and give you some bloom
➢ Do: Plant shrubs and perennials if you didn’t get them in yet. Their roots will continue to grow as long as soil temperatures are above 40 degrees.
➢ Do: Continue mowing, leaving the clippings on the lawn (free fertilizer!), until it stops growing for the winter, which may be as late as December, but
➢ Don’t: Fertilize or reseed. The grass can’t use the fertilizer in the cold weather, nor can new seed sprout and develop strength to make it through the winter.
➢ Don’t: Leave weeds or dead plants in your vegetable garden. They will shelter pests that will haunt you next spring.
➢ Don’t: Worry about watering established plants deeply. Watering is important in a dry autumn, but this one has been anything but.
By guest blogger, Jessica Milstead. Jessica has been a Charles County Master Gardener since 2002 and is certified to elevate gardens and landscapes for their adherence to Bay-Wise principles.
Graphics provided by Marge LaMar