Northern & Central Midwest
Houseplants should be indoors by now. As they drop leaves, keep them clean and watch for pest explosions. Spider mites love the dry indoor atmosphere, and scale insects can increase in numbers quickly. Keep the horticultural oil handy for spot treatment to keep pests from getting out of hand.
Clean Up Garden Tools
When the season is finished, winterize tools. Fill a bucket with sand and saturate it with oil (motor or vegetable). Remove rust with a wire brush and then stick metal parts of tools into the oil bucket. Wipe off with a rag. Sand and oil wooden handles. Sharpen and oil pruners. Drain and clean sprayers and store upside down.
Winterize Your Pond
Remove hardy fish temporarily while you clean. Remove mulch and debris from the bottom, cut back foliage, and divide plants, if necessary. Make sure your pump is in working order to keep a hole open. Replace fish and reduce feeding.
Prepare Soil for Spring Planting
Get your soil ready for spring planting by adding organic matter of whatever you can find. Dig in shredded leaves, manure, compost, or rotted straw. These will have a chance to break down over the winter and provide you with a wonderful seed bed for next spring.
Finish planting bulbs before the ground freezes. The soil is still somewhat warm and you will get some root growth. Don't fertilize, just mulch after planting.