Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

October, 2008
Regional Report

Leave Seedheads

Remember to leave seedheads on flowers in the daisy family. Coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, zinnias, sunflowers, asters, and daisies all attract birds and make a beautiful statement when topped with winter snow. You can cut them down in spring when you do your garden cleanup.

Mow Lawn Short for Winter

Mow your lawn for the last time at a bit shorter than normal. Don't be tempted to leave it long and covered with leaves. This will make the perfect conditions for snow mold and rodent damage. Mow and chop the leaves all at once and blow them into your beds for mulch.

Don't Prune Trees and Shrubs

Don't be in a hurry to prune deciduous trees and shrubs. Even though the leaves fall, they will survive pruning much better if you wait until late winter or early spring. This way, the wounds from pruning will not be open and exposed throughout the winter.

Plant Garlic

Plant garlic now if not done already. Garlic is a bulb and is best planted in fall for the largest heads next summer. Plant plump cloves about two inches apart, about four to five inches deep in organic soil. Add some soybean meal, water in well, and mulch for winter.

Divide Perennials

There is still time to divide perennials. The ground is still warm and you can divide spring-blooming perennials as part of your garden clean up. When you dig and split them, be sure to replant immediately, water in thoroughly and mulch well for winter.


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