- Sharpen shovels and tools--it's a great planting month!
- Divide and add new perennials, plant ground covers, shrubs and trees.
- Transplant from now through March.
- Choose and plant crocus, daffodils, and tulips.
- Plant garlic cloves now for a pungent harvest next summer.
- Compost garden wastes as you tidy for winter.
- Sow a green manure crop such as crimson clover, vetch or field peas, in empty spaces.
- Green manures suppress weeds and add nitrogen and organic matter when dug in next spring.
- Thatch, aerate and install sod.
- Top dress with a light layer of sift compost if lawn was planted with very little organic matter.
- Turn off irrigation system.
Additional gardening tips from Washington State Universtiy Cooperative Extension publication "The Gardener."
- Fall is a good time for a soil test. If your soil is too acid (low pH), you can apply lime. It takes about three months for agricultural or dolomite lime to actually raise the pH.
- Plant winter cover crops now. Winter wheat, crimson clover, annual ryegrass, and fava beans are some options. They can be tilled under next spring.
- Most plants transplant best in fall. However, wait to move magnolias and dogwoods in late winter or early spring.
- Dig geraniums, tuberous begonias, dahlias, and glads. Store where they will be protected from frost. If dahlia roots or glads are at least six inches deep, they will probably survive the winter in the ground, especially if covered with a few inches of mulch
- Store fuchsias where they won't freeze or dry out. Hardy fuchsias can remain in the ground if mulched.
- Protect tomatoes from frost. Cover if frost is expected, or pick them and ripen inside. They don't need light to ripen.
- Plant garlic this month.
- Rake leaves from lawn frequently so they don't smother the grass.
- Use healthy leaves as a mulch or compost them.
- Diseased leaves, fruit, and twigs should not be composted.
- Keep the lawn mowed to the recommended height: 1/2 to 3/4 inches for bentgrass: 1 to 1 1/4 inches for fescue-rye combinations.
- Winter pears and kiwis should be stored for a month or so at a temperature slightly above 32° F. Then they can be ripened at room temperature.
- Oven dry walnuts and filberts at 95° F. - 100° F. after harvest, or they will turn rancid in storage.
George Pinyuh, WSU Extension Agent--Retired