Yard and Garden
Call an expert: If you have any questions about caring for your lawn, ornamental plants or garden, call or email a local extension service. Your city probably has one; if not, one of your state’s universities will.
Lawn: Fertilize turf with the best organic product for the dormant season, and don’t forget to water it in. Rake up leaves when they get thick. It’s OK to let random scattered leaves decompose on the grass, but a heavy mat of leaves suffocates it.
Outdoor spigots: Remove hoses from spigots (outdoor faucets). Drain spigots, as applicable.
Pruning: Most trees and shrubs should be pruned in late fall and/or early spring.
Plant: Many hardy varieties of ornamental plants do well when planted in fall. Do this while the ground is still warm and there’s time for adequate watering. Be sure to water new and young plants during winter dry spells, too.
Lawnmower: Prepare the lawnmower and other small-engine equipment for winter storage, following the owner’s manual. This prevents the number one cause of small-engine repair: old gas left in the tank.
Mice: Nip the annual rodent problem in the bud by setting out mousetraps as soon as the nights turn cold. The type of trap or relocation hotel is up to you.