you think the only thing commanding your attention these
days is dealing with the showers of leaves. For many
people it is a big, time-consuming job.
other parts of your landscape merit attention before
winter sets in.
of course, could be nice with lots of opportunity for
outdoor tidying, planting and moving things. But I never
count on it.
I suggest taking advantage of the next couple of weeks
to finish jobs that will put your flower beds and
vegetable gardens to rest until late winter.
beds definitely merit attention. In some places, summer
flowers such as begonias and impatiens still look good.
Even so, they have to go because freezing weather will
get them sooner or later. As you do this, use pruning
shears to cut off the annuals at ground level, leaving
the roots to decay in the soil and keeping the good soil
you worked to improve last spring at planting time.
them now gives more opportunity to plant flowering bulb,
pansies, ornamental cabbages and snapdragons.
of course, will stay on. Birds feast on some seed pods,
but once they are depleted, cut the flowering stems back
to the base of the plant. Keep the leaves, through which
new growth will appear in late winter and early spring.
If you have Lenten roses, look carefully around the
plants for seedlings that grew this year. Some may be
quite well developed by now and can be moved to a space
of their own to grow into flowering plants, which takes
about three years from germination. This is well worth
pruning of roses should not be done until early March,
just ahead of the growing season. The heirloom roses,
which bloom only once, should be pruned only after they
bloom next spring and early summer. Knock Out roses can
be trimmed and shaped up a bit now, but more serious
pruning should wait until late winter.
gardens benefit even more from an autumn cleanup. Clear
out and get rid of all summer crops such as tomatoes,
peppers and melons. If you leave the spent plants, they
can harbor pests. Clean and put away stakes and cages
used for tomatoes.
check for winter weeds, which erupt as the weather
cools. These can show up in the vegetable and flowerbeds
and will not be subdued by freezing weather.
Fortunately, in the light, good soil of garden beds,
they are easy to pull up, roots and all.
like leaf litter as mulch for vegetable beds, largely
because it is free. Covering the earth with mulch will
help keep down those winter weeds and gives a nice,