Give Your Lawn Some Late Fall TLC

Kids will soon be knocking at your door, all decked out in their Halloween costumes. They aren’t the only ones who’ll be expecting goodies from you, though. Your yard and garden are also begging for a little TLC before winter sets in! Here’s what you need to do:

  •     If fall has been dry in your area, give your plants a nice, long drink so they don’t go into the winter with parched soil.
  •  Dig up tender bulbs, such as gladiolus and dahlias, and store them indoors for the winter.
  • Remove all dead or dying foliage from your beds. Dispose of any woody stalks, diseased, or insect-ridden matter, and send the rest to the compost pile.
  • After fall clean-up, spray all of your perennial beds with this mixture:  1 can of beer, 1 can of regular cola (not diet), ½ cup of dishwashing liquid, and ½ cup of tobacco tea. (To make tobacco tea, place half a handful of chewing tobacco in an old nylon stocking, and soak it in a gallon of hot water until the mixture is dark brown.) Mix all of the ingredients in a bucket, then apply liberally with your 20 Gallon Hose-End Sprayer.
  •  Once the ground freezes, mulch beds with chopped leaves, composted manure, salt hay, or pine needles.
  •  As soon as Jack Frost has visited your garden, remove all summer annuals to the compost pile. Sprinkle 1 pound of bonemeal and 1 pound of Epsom salts per 100 sq. ft. of flower bed. Let it set for a week, and then till the soil under.
  • Mulch your roses with leaves, straw, and soil, or cover them with Styrofoam cones.

Once you’ve got your garden beds all settled in for their long winter’s nap, you can turn your attention to warmer thoughts—like lighting a fire in the fireplace, and curling up with a good book and a cup of tea!