Inland Northwest, High Desert
Unhook Garden Hoses
With freezing weather threatening, undo the hoses from the bibs after you've finished watering. Once the final freeze comes, store the hoses in an unheated garage or basement and attach styrofoam cones to the faucets to insulate them and keep them from freezing.
While most garden hoses should be drained and stored for winter, I like to keep at least one rolled-up hose available for winter watering. Plants such as evergreens need water all winter, and our winters can be very dry. If water freezes inside the hose, I bring the hose into a heated area to let the ice melt before attaching a sprinkler head or attempting to use it.
Clean Gutters and Culverts
Leaves can block waterways and gutters and cause pipes to clog and flood during heavy rains and snowmelts. Climb a ladder and give the gutters a cleansing swipe, removing leaves from spout holes. Poke around the culverts to make sure water can run through them easily.
Hang Bird Feeders
The migratory birds should all be gone now, but it's time to hang bird feeders for our winter friends. Pine siskins like to eat nuts, rolled oats, and a variety of seeds, especially thistle. Goldfinches appreciate thistle and sunflower seeds. Juncos are the janitors of the feeder set - they'll clean up all the seeds under the feeders that other birds missed.
Harvest vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, and mustard greens now, as the cold temperatures have sweetened their flavor. Clean the garden of these vegetables before damaging freezes and cold (below 20F) occur. After harvest, amend the soil with compost, leaves, and hay to get ready for next year's garden.