Continue picking up fallen fruit under trees. It is best not to compost the fruit especially if the tree suffered from apple/pear scab, apple maggots, or brown rot on peaches or cherry trees.
Winterize Asparagus, Rhubarb and Artichokes after the first frost has killed the foliage. Remove the leaves and stems and apply a heavy mulch of compost or well-rotted chicken manure over the crown of the plants. In spring when Artichoke plants first show chokes begin fertilizing every four weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
The late fall/early winter feeding of your lawn is the most important of the year. The cooler temperatures and rainy weather cause grass to come out of dormancy and start to grow. Be sure to rake and remove fallen leaves before applying fertilizer. Keep fallen leaves removed to help prevent molds and bacteria from forming under the leaves.
Stop cutting rose blossoms to let the hips (seed pods) develop. This will help the rose begin going dormant. Pruning at this time of the year should be limited to cutting taller canes down to about four feet on hybrid tea roses. Harder pruning should best be done about the first week of March.
Collect fallen leaves for your compost pile. If you have access to a lot of leaves, store some in plastic bags for use next spring or summer. Leaves from Walnut and Horse Chestnut trees however, are best left on the ground under the tree.
Cover crops (green manure) can still be planted this month. A mixture of vetch, clover and annual rye works very well. If you are not familiar with the benefits of a cover crop in your vegetable garden, give us a call. Or, you can pick up a copy of our Cover Crop handout the next time you visit Valley Nursery.