Western Mountains and High Plains
Protect Young Fruit Trees
Wrap the trunks of young fruit trees with a plastic collar or paper tree wrap to prevent damage from animals gnawing and deer rubbing their antlers. It doesn't take long for these large critters to inflict damage to newly planted trees as they browse the landscape.
Cut Back Perennials
As the weather permits, take time to cut back the ripened or dried foliage of many perennials. Leave a couple inches of stems to capture the winter snow and hold moisture. This will tidy up the garden and save time next spring. Leave the stems of coneflowers and ornamental grasses for winter interest.
Even though the night temperatures are dropping, evergreen trees and shrubs need to be watered periodically when Mother Nature isn't cooperating. Deep watering before the soil freezes will ensure the roots have sufficient moisture and escape winter desiccation. Water early in the day to make sure water soaks down deeply.
Plants that were summering outdoors need to be checked for any tourist bugs that have found their way indoors. In the sink or tub, mix up some dishwashing liquid in warm water and sponge off leaves and stems. Rinse the plant with tepid water after bathing and return to its location. This will eliminate any pests that could cause damage to your indoor garden.
Mulching Roses After Soil Freezes
Mulching the rose garden is a good way to protect the bushes in winter, but don't mulch too soon. Mulch should keep the soil cold, not warm, and prevent the alternate freezing and thawing that heaves roots out of the ground. Wait until the ground is frozen before you spread mulch.