Northern & Central Midwest

October, 2007
Regional Report

Transplant Trees and Shrubs

After they have gone dormant, transplant trees and shrubs. When leaves turn and drop, the plant is going into dormancy and will easily survive a move. Water well before digging and then carefully lift the plant with a ball of soil around the roots. After replanting, water well and spread winter mulch.

Mulch With Fall Leaves

As leaves fall, shred them with the mower. Use old blades since they will become dull. Blow the shredded leaves into existing beds or into piles for mulching later in the season when the ground has begun to freeze. All types of leaves will add great organic matter.

Take Annual Flower Cuttings

Take cuttings from annual flowers, herbs, and foliage plants to grow on the windowsill. This works quite well for impatiens, geraniums, coleus, begonias, marjoram, summer savory, and even basil. Make 3- to 5-inch cuttings with a few leaves, dip in rooting hormone, and plant in sterile potting soil.

Prepare Bird Feeders

Clean out bird feeders and stockpile seed for winter. Birds are still enjoying the fruits of summer, but they will soon need to be guided to our feeders for winter food. Make sure feeders are sterilized and repaired with no sharp edges or wires. Put them on sturdy poles with squirrel baffles, if desired.

Bring Tender Aquatics Indoors

Prepare tender aquatic plants to come indoors. When the weather drops to about 50 degrees at night, remove the plants and cut off all foliage and flowers. Store the tubers in an indoor aquarium with 55-degree water or in a bucket of damp sand in a cool basement.

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