Northern & Central Midwest
Adjust Houseplants to Indoors
Plants brought indoors will go through a shock due to changes in light and temperature. Sun-loving houseplants might suffer during the cloudy winter season, so supplemental artificial lights might be an option. Avoid overwatering plants, especially as they adjust, and wait until spring to fertilize.
Protect Tender Roses
Protect hybrid tea, floribunda, multiflora, climbing, miniature, and newly planted roses late this month or when you've had several days of 20-degree weather. Mound 12 to 18 inches of lightweight peat moss or composted manure at the base of roses. Wait to prune roses until spring.
Take Care of Containers
All ceramic, cement, or terra cotta containers should be emptied, cleaned, and stored in a frost-free space to avoid frost cracking. Soilless mix from containers can be stored in a container in the garage and combined with equal parts fresh mix for next year's containers.
Get Ready for Birds
Clean birdbaths but try to maintain water supply for birds over winter. Small heating coils can be used in stone birdbaths to prevent water from freezing. Clean and refill bird feeders. Regularly cleaning and rinsing bird feeders is essential to prevent spread of disease.
Bring Tools, Chemicals Inside
Before temperatures go below freezing, disconnect outside water sources, drain hoses, and then store indoors. Sharpen and oil tools. Store all unused herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and chemicals in original, labeled containers. If cardboard containers have become wet, consider disposing of the product. Check expiration dates on products to be sure they're still viable.