Northern & Central Midwest
Start a Compost Pile
With all the vegetable and flower trimmings and dead plants available at this time of year, a great way to recycle this debris is in a compost heap. Layer garden debris with grass clippings and leaves, and sprinkle it with a layer of soil. Add some water and you're on your way to making black gold for the garden.
Water Woodies Well
Even though the drought has broken for many of us, large trees, shrubs, and evergreens were still stressed considerably this summer. Continue to provide water until the ground freezes hard. Evergreens continue to lose moisture throughout winter, so make sure they enter the season well hydrated.
Save Favorite Annuals With Cuttings
Take cuttings from favorite annuals, such as geraniums, coleus, begonias, and impatiens. Dip the cuttings in rooting powder, pot them in soilless mix, and bring them into a sunny windowsill. Tender container plants, such as mandevilla, jasmine, and citrus, should come indoors before the weather turns too cool.
We will be hitting our heaviest harvests in the next six weeks so continue to pick vegetables as soon as they ripen. Tomatoes and peppers will ripen on the windowsill as long as they are not refrigerated first. If an early frost threatens, cover plants with baskets or light blankets.
Add Some Goldenrod
Lovely goldenrod is an asset to your perennial garden. It is in its glory right now, and although it has a misguided association with hayfever or fall allergies, the true pollen culprit is ragweed, an unattractive plant with non-showy flowers and wind-blown pollen. Goldenrod pollen is heavy and sticky and hitches rides on insects.