Mid-Atlantic

October, 2005
Regional Report

Take Photos

Winter is a great time for garden and landscape planning, and there's nothing like a few photos to help you remember how things looked last year. Take shots of your best and worst areas for easy (and accurate) reference. Also make notes of any favorite or disliked varieties you grew this year so you'll know what to purchase next time around.

Deter Rabbits

Protect fruit trees from rabbit damage this winter. Cover the ground at the base of the trunk with sturdy wire mesh (such as hardware cloth), and cover that with a layer of gravel. Now extend the wire upward in a continuous piece to encase the trunk 2 feet higher than the average maximum snow depth.

Keep Mowing

Fall's milder temperatures and generous rainfall encourage lawn grasses to grow vigorously. Continue to mow often enough to remove no more than one third of the lawn's height each time. To protect your lawn from smothering under fallen leaves, remove them promptly by raking, mowing, or using a leaf catcher. Save the leaves and herbicide-free clippings for the compost pile.

Winterize Patio Tree Roses

There is no easy way to winterize tree roses. In late fall, after freezing weather starts, loosen the roots on one side and bend the tree over to bury it horizontally in a deep trench. Spread mulch over top. Or bring the tree indoors to a cool, dark location (30 to 40 degrees F) and keep the soil barely damp. Take it back outside (or uncover it) in mid spring so it can wake up with the season.

Protect Terra Cotta

Terra cotta and certain other porous materials used for pots and statuary may crack or chip or crumble or even break apart during freezing weather. The reason for this is that moisture trapped within the material swells when it freezes and exerts pressure. Protect these items by storing them in a freeze-proof area.

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