Western Mountains and High Plains
Beware Diseases Lurking in the Garden
Be on the watch for damage from the disease known as powdery mildew. Symptoms include stunted new growth; white, flour-like coating on the foliage; leaf drop; and poor plant vigor. This disease favors tender growth and will infect leaves, stems, terminal buds, blossoms, and even fruit. Prune out the worst of infected parts and dispose of debris.
Keep Garden Clean
Develop good sanitation practices in the yard and garden. Clean up what's left from summer's annual flowers and vegetables. Rake up heavy accumulations of leaves and other plant refuse and use in the compost pile if the materials are not diseased. Leaves from cottonwood, aspen, and willow should be chopped up before composting to speed up the decomposition process.
Plant When You Can
Buy plants early during special close-out sales to get the best quality possible. Then you can get them planted before fall storms and early frosts. The earlier in the fall you can plant container-grown or balled-and-burlapped nursery stock, the better the chances for fall and winter survival. Water regularly during the fall and winter and be especially watchful when weather conditions are windy and dry.
Breathe New Life Into Your Lawn
Lawns should be core-aerated in the cool weather of fall. Soak the lawn a day prior to aeration so the mechanical aerator removes deep plugs. Holes left from aeration allow for better air, water, and nutrient movement through the soil. This helps the lawn thicken up since root growth is more active during the autumn.
Add Spring-Flowering Bulbs to Your Landscape
To add beauty and welcome spring, now is the time to plant daffodils, tulips, crocuses, hyacinths, alliums, and many other spring flowers. Plant them in locations that are visible from windows so you can enjoy their show of colors from February through June. Bulbs are short-lived if planted in poorly drained soils, so add compost prior to planting.