Northern & Central Midwest

November, 2008
Regional Report

Dispose of Perennial Foliage

Although you can cut back and dispose of perennial foliage that is unattractive for the winter, be sure to leave seed heads of coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and other members of the daisy family, and sedums to catch snow and feed the birds through the winter. You'll appreciate having something to look at.

Bring in Remaining Annual Bulbs

Don't forget to bring in any annual bulbs that are still outdoors. Dahlias, tuberous begonias, and gladiolas should be frosted sufficiently that they will go dormant. Dig and bring them into a cool basement. Layer them in dry peat moss or sand and watch for mold through the winter.

Mow for Last Time

Mow your lawn for the last time. Remove leaves to prevent matting or shred them very finely so that they filter down through the grass blades. Mow a bit shorter than usual to keep rodents from making trails under the snow. This will also help prevent snow mold.

Plant Any Remaining Bulbs

Plant your last spring-blooming bulbs. The soil is still warm enough to promote root growth. Don't try to hold them over the winter as they will begin to lose their viability. It's better to get them in the ground or put them in pots to force in the refrigerator.

Clean Up Vegetable Debris

Clean up all the debris from the vegetable garden. Leaving it in place can harbor disease and insects. Compost it or send it to your city composting facility. Then you will have a clean slate once the warm spring winds begin to blow.

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