Northern & Central Midwest

October, 2010
Regional Report

Water Evergreens

Water evergreens and other plants that are not dormant yet. Many parts of the Midwest have had sparse fall rains, so make sure you plants go into the winter prepared to come alive next spring as healthy as possible. Slow, deep watering is always best.

Cut Fall Flowers for Table

Cut asters and mums for the fall table. These plants are beautiful right now, so use them to brighten indoors as well. Combine them with bright yellow hickory leaves, red sumac leaves and berries, goldenrod, perennial sunflowers and add a sprig or two of ornamental grass seedheads.

Collect and Store Seed Correctly

If you plan to collect seed from your garden, select healthy, ripe pods or seeds. Clean and dry seeds very thoroughly, and once dry, store them cool and dry. You can use plastic containers or paper bags and store in the refrigerator. Check periodically through the winter for signs of mold.

Get Ready for the Birds

Get ready for bird feeding season. There's plenty of wild food right now, so the birds won't miss your feeders for a couple of days while you do some housecleaning. Clean and sterilize them thoroughly. Clean your water source and get it ready, and this is also a good time to empty and clean your seed-holding bin.

Watch Houseplants for Pests

Watch houseplants that summered outdoors carefully for pests. After bringing them indoors, pests may proliferate. Catching them now means you won't be fighting huge populations through the winter. If you do find some, spray the plant with horticultural oil (checking the label first).

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