• Fertilize cool season lawns, bluegrass and tall fescue, with Ferti-lome Winterizer. This is optional if you have fertilized in September. This fertilizer is taken up by the roots but is not used until the following spring. Water fertilizer in.
• Spray for broadleaf weeds if they are a problem. Remember temperature is important for chemicals to work and react properly. Spray on a day that is at least 50 degrees. Rain or irrigation within 24 hours reduces effectiveness.
• K-State Update: Early November is the most effective time to control broadleaf weeds in lawns. Dandelions usually produce a flush of new plants in late September, and the winter annual weeds henbit and chickweed should have germinated in October. Even established dandelions are more easily controlled now than in the spring because they are actively moving materials from the top portion of the plant to the roots. Herbicides will translocate to the roots as well and will kill the plant from the roots up. Be sure to choose a day that is 50 degrees or higher. The better the weed is growing, the more weed killer will be moved from the leaves to the roots. Cold temperatures will slow or stop this process. Weed Free Zone is a relatively new herbicide. It gives a quicker response and will work better when temperatures are below 50 degrees. (Ward Upham)
• Rake fallen leaves from the lawn to prevent winter suffocation.
• If needed, water turf so its starts winter with ample moisture.
• Continue to mow into the fall at 2 to 3 inches.
• Take a soil test and make needed adjustments this fall.
• Till garden soil and add organic matter.
Vegetables and Fruits
• Sort apples in storage and remove spoiled fruit.
• Clean and remove fallen fruit from around trees to reduce insects and disease next year.
• Protect trunks of fruit trees from rabbit damage with tree wraps.
• Remove frost killed annuals. Till flowerbeds and add organic matter to improve soil tilth. Plant spring flowering bulbs!
• Remove frost-killed annuals.
• Till annual flower beds and add organic matter to improve soil.
• Continue to plant spring flowering bulbs.
• Depending on your gardening style, leave or cut back perennial stalks to 4 to 6 inches.
• Apply a winter mulch to perennials and roses after several hard freezes.
Trees and Shrubs
• Everything should be going dormant for the winter. Make sure trees and shrubs are well watered before the ground freezes. Make sure tender roses have mulch protection. The Carpet Roses or Knock-out Roses do not require additional mulch. Trim very tall roses down to 3′ to prevent breakage from winter winds.
• Spray ‘Wilt Pruf’ on Boxwood, Holly, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, (broadleaf evergreens) and climbing rose canes, around Thanksgiving. This will provide a waxy protective layer that will prevent browning. It is an anti-transpirant that will reduce moisture loss when plants are under winter stress and keeps them from shriveling to reduce surface area.
• Clean up the rose bed to help reduce disease next season. Cut back tall rose canes to 24 inches to prevent winter breakage.
• Water newly planted trees and shrubs.
• Plant new trees and shrubs.
• Rake leaves and place in compost pile.
• Check mulch layers and replenish.
• Prune dead or hazardous limbs.
• Wait to prune spring flowering trees and shrubs until after bloom.
• Clean and oil garden tools, sprayers, and other equipment. Store them for winter.
• Drain garden hoses and sprinklers and store indoors for increased life. If you decide to leave them outside, unscrew them from the faucets.
• If fuel is to remain in power equipment, add fuel stabilizer. Otherwise, drain gas from power equipment for winter storage. Make any needed repairs.
• Protect ornamental and fruit trees and young plants from rabbit damage by wrapping or enclosing in wire screen.
• Start a compost pile with fall leaves.
• Turn compost pile to hasten breakdown.
• Start planning for next year.
This information is brought to you from Nadine Champlin, Designer, Grimms Gardens; and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. http://www.johnson.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=146