Western Mountains and High Plains
Take Care of Garden Tools
To last longer and be ready for next year, garden tools need good care before going into storage. Use a wire brush to clean off mud and rust. To reduce rust accumulation, insert the tools in a bucket of sand mixed with a pint of motor oil.
Protect Wooden Handles
Rakes, shovels, spading forks, and hoes with wooden handles will benefit from a protective treatment. Brush a mixture of one part linseed oil and one part turpentine on wooden handles. Apply two coats evenly.
Clean Floating Row Covers
To prolong the life of your floating row covers, wash them in the washing machine on the delicate cycle. Dry outdoors, not in a dryer. Fold and store for next year, away from mice and squirrels.
Water Landscape Plants Deeply
Be sure to water evergreens, shrubs, and trees deeply every five weeks, unless we have a wet fall and winter. Water when temperatures are over 45 degrees and early in the day to allow the moisture to soak in. South and west exposures and slopes need the most attention.
Harvest any of the remaining root crops before the soil freezes hard. If you like, you can apply an extra heavy layer of stray mulch around carrots and parsnips and harvest them throughout the fall and winter.