Northern & Central Midwest
Pick Up Fruit Debris
Clean up fallen fruit and debris around fruit trees and berries. The fruits are great places for pests to overwinter, particularly fungal diseases such as apple scab, peach leaf curl and black knot on plums. Cleaning them up now will give you a head start toward avoiding problems next year.
Provide Extra Humidity for Houseplants
By now the heat in our houses is on fairly regularly, so it's time to begin providing extra humidity for houseplants. Install a humidifier on your furnace, hook up a room or spot humidifier, place pots on beds of moist pebbles, or double pot plants with a layer of damp sphagnum between the pots.
Get the Rest of Your Bulbs in the Ground
Finish planting hardy spring-flowering bulbs, preferably before the middle of the month. This includes all hardy flowering bulbs as well as garlic. You can give them a boost by adding soybean meal to the planting hole, and then be sure to mulch immediately after planting.
Water Evergreens into Fall
Continue to water evergreens until the ground freezes, especially if the fall has been dry. Broadleaf and needled evergreens continue to lose moisture from their leaves throughout the winter even though they are partially dormant. Sending them into winter with ample stored moisture assures that stay healthy for the next year.
Cover Bare Garden Areas with Mulch
In all garden areas except the vegetable garden, make sure bare soil is covered with grass clippings or shredded leaves. This will limit erosion and reduce nutrient leaching through the winter and early spring. The vegetable garden is best left bare to kill overwintering insects.