Coastal and Tropical South
If your jack-o'-lantern is still sitting around, turn him into a backyard lab. Let the kids fill it with stuff, bury it, and dig it up next spring. It's a quick lesson in what decomposes and what doesn't, and good (if dirty) fun, to boot.
Caring for Ponds
Garden water features in our region don\'t usually have to be drained for the winter, but if yours has had a rough time with algae or simply too many plants, now is a good time to fix it. Drain it and rake out the debris, then refill and cover, if needed.
Leave Perennials Alone
As large perennials go dormant, we may be tempted to cut them back. Better to let them go entirely brown, if they will, before pruning to rejuvenate new growth. If you're looking for an attractive alternative, consider draping butterfly bushes and big lantanas with blankets of holiday lights.
Get Prepared for Moving Plants
Winter is the time to dig up and replant trees and shrubs. Prepare new soil first, digging a hole as deep as, and wider than, the rootball you'll be moving. Cut a circle around the plant you're moving now to start its roots inward. Before February, dig up and replant immediately.
Please plant onions! Even a few sets will make the best green onions you ever ate; and in sandy soils full-sized, spicy red onions cannot be equaled by any in the produce department. Many garden centers and catalogs start selling onions this month, so buy some and plant immediately.