If you have put your garden to bed for the winter, good job. Go get a second cup of coffee.
If you’ve waited for the last minute, put on your boots and grab your gloves. Time is a wasting.
• Annuals and vegetables: Pull them up. Be sure to get the roots. Many disease and pest problems will survive through the winter in or on plant debris. Compost if not diseased. Dispose of diseased materials in the garbage.
• Perennials: Consider saving ornamental grasses; they provide winter interest in an otherwise barren landscape. Save the seed heads of yarrow, purple coneflower, and black-eyed Susans; they are an important food source for many of our overwintering bird species. Clean up other perennial debris. Divide and mulch if you’re especially ambitious.
• Pruning: Now is an excellent time to prune trees and shrubs. As leaves drop from deciduous woody plants, it is easier to spot defects. Look for dead, diseased, or rubbing branches and splits or cracks in the wood. Prune branches are growing back towards the center of the tree.
• Mow: Ohio State University turfgrass specialists say that it is more important to keep mowing until the grass stops growing for the season. Often grass requires mowing into November in Ohio. The mowing height should be maintained at 2.5 - 3” until snow cover. Mulch the clippings; it’s free fertilizer for your soil.
• Don’t let it freeze: Empty your rain barrel; the water could freeze and crack the barrel. The same goes for ceramic pots. Store them in a shed or in the garage.
A few chores completed now will insure a smoother transition into spring.