Western Mountains and High Plains

November, 2004
Regional Report

Protect Outdoor Containers

If you desire to leave some of your containers outdoors for the winter, get them prepared. Turn them upside down and set them on a bed of wood chips or mulch. Wrap them with burlap bags or landscape fabric, and then cover them with a plastic bag. This will keep them dry so they don't crack in the cold.

Tidy Up the Yard

As the annual plants finish up for the season, take time to collect and remove diseased or insect-ridden foliage and branches from the landscape. If permitted, burn diseased debris, or dispose of in the trash. Left to overwinter, these diseased and insect-infested materials will reintroduce problems to the garden next season.

Take Advantage of Fall Sales

As garden retailers put many bulbs and other plants on sale, take advantage of the bargains. You still have time to plant bulbs before the ground freezes solid. Even perennials can be planted if you have space.

Check for Fall Watering Needs

If you live in an area that has been lacking in fall moisture, give your trees and shrubs a good soaking. Fall watering is essential before the ground freezes. You may need to do this every four to five weeks, depending upon local weather conditions. I like to use a frog-eye sprinkler that delivers water in a low arc so it can soak the soil.

Prune and Remove Dead Branches

Check trees and shrubs around the yard for dead, dying or diseased branches. It is best to prune these as you spot them and dispose of the prunings. Don't keep the wood around as many disease spores can overwinter and re-infect plants next spring.

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