Let's talk for as minute about last minute fall chores. .
Here's a list of a few important last minute fall chores. Mow, water and fertilize your lawn one last time before the ground freezes. Gorgeous spring lawns have their beginnings in last minute fall care. If you have a strawberry bed, mow the strawberries down to 3 or 4 inches tall and cover them with one inch of compost, such as soil pep, and then with 3 to 4 inches of hay or straw. Remember in the spring to rake most of the hay or straw off when growth begins. Get your tender roses ready for winter by mounding dirt over the center of the bush. Then put a wire cage or something similar around the rose and fill it with dead leaves or dry grass clippings. This will protect the rose against winter kill. Remove all dead plant debris from your garden spot and till in a good layer of compost material- Nutri-Mulch, old hay, dead leaves, grass clippings, or whatever. If you have alkaline soil, till in some Hi-Yield Soil Sulfur as well. Doing this in the fall gives the organic material a chance to break down and be ready to feed your plants come spring. Prune your raspberries by cutting the canes that produced fruit this year down to the ground, saving only five to eight new canes to produce next year's crop. A last minute application of Ferti-lome Iron will make for strong new growth on your raspberries in the spring. Make sure the ground around trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, is wet when the ground starts to freeze. Mulch around any plants that are on the south side of anything, including large rocks or fences, to help preserve the moisture around the roots. Failure to do this can lead to plants that burn on the south side due to winter sun. It may be helpful to wrap evergreens planted on the south side with burlap for the winter. Remove all the dead foliage from your perennials, except for mums and grasses. They should be left a foot tall to protect their crowns from winter kill. Bone meal in perennial beds, strawberry beds, and bulb beds is an excellent idea. When your grape vines are dormant, prune them back. Prune shoots that produced no fruit this year back to ten buds, and shoots that did produce fruit back to two buds.