Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

October, 2006
Regional Report

Bring Perishable Garden Products Indoors

Make sure to take care of faucets and hoses before hard freezes. Get all garden products, especially beneficial nematodes and bacteria, labeled and stored where they won't freeze. Check expiration dates on products to be sure they're still viable. If there is any question, dispose of the product properly.

Use Shredded Leaves for Mulch

Make use of those fall leaves by shredding them for mulch with a mower or leaf shredder. Add 2 to 4 inches of shredded leaves to perennial borders and garden beds once the ground has frozen completely. Also use them for mulch in shrub beds and around trees.

Cut Back Perennials

Once frost season is here, cut back to the ground all dead perennials and annuals and add the plant material to the compost pile. Some plants can be left for winter interest or bird feeding. Most members of the daisy and grass families look great dusted with snow.

Take Care of Indoor Plants

Plants brought indoors will drop leaves and go through a temporary shock in their new environment due to changes in light and temperature. Remember to cut back on watering and fertilizing and keep an eye out for pests so they don't get out of hand.

Fertilize Grass

Fertilize lawns for a final time in early November with a slow-release organic fertilizer high in nitrogen. This nitrogen application will help lawns retain green color longer in winter and color up faster in early spring. Most Midwestern soils don't need additional phosphorus and potassium.


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