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October 1, 2016

start the cleanup!

Leave especially ornamental or wildlife-friendly plants standing. Don’t act as if you’re vacuuming the living room; clean up beds tactically for maximum enjoyment by you and the birds.

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October 3, 2016

collect, shred, store leaves

Gather leaves, and start a leaves-only compost pile. You can run them over with the mower, but using a vacuum that shreds (whether backpack or an attachment to a tractor) would be better. How to put leaves to work by shredding them (and what gear to use). Once crumbly after aging in a heap, they make great mulch, or can be turned into beds to add organic matter.

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October 5, 2016

keep on weeding

Weed! Besides cleaning up around diseased plants, this is a giant “must.” Even if you can’t weed, exactly, deadhead your weeds now and discard the seeds deep in the woods or somewhere they cannot re-sprout. Fewer seeds now, fewer weeds next year.

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October 8, 2016

take an inventory

In early fall, I try to do an informal survey of the garden–noting what worked and didn’t, and making a plan for possible changes. While I tease the garden apart this month, I’m making my next-year garden resolutions.

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October 15, 2016

vegetable garden cleanup

Thoughtfully take apart the vegetable garden as crops fade, with an eye to improved future performance.Think about tilling less, about cover crops, and about generally boosting soil health. David Mattern of Chanticleer’s vegetable garden tells how.

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October 18, 2016

extra care: peonies, roses

Pay special attention to areas to cleanup around peonies, roses, bearded iris and other flowers that are prone to fungal diseases; don’t leave any debris in place to infect things next year.

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October 20, 2016

planting garlic

Replant the biggest cloves from your best heads of harvested garlic, or hurry and order a supply and plant this month (about a month before frost is in the ground). How to plant garlic: Prepare a sunny spot, and plant each clove 2 or so inches deep and 6 inches apart in the row, with about 12 inches between rows. I mulch my garlic bed. Green growth may appear this fall; that’s normal.

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