Get ready for winter | Fall garden to-dos from Nursery at Mount Si's Nels Melgaard

With fall in the air, it is a wonderful time to take advantage of the crisp, cool air and take care of things in the garden.

That’s right, now is not the time to stop gardening! Just because winter’s frosty temperatures invite you to stay cozy inside with a cup of tea by the fireplace, you’ll appreciate it all the more if you spend a little time in your garden first.

Plus, you’ll get a jump on your spring garden “to-do” list!

This is the time of year to clean up, cut back and divide many of your perennials.

We always recommend that you enhance your soil while planting or transplanting, but in the fall and winter months, you don’t want to use a “hot” soil amendment, as the high nitrogen this time of year can work against you.

There are many things to add to your winter garden to-do list. Here are a few things we have scheduled at the nursery:

• Plan now for dormant sprays by ensuring you have product on hand and a working sprayer.

• Plan now to force bulbs indoors for the holidays.

• Add moss killer, then thatch and aerate your lawn. Add lime to sweeten the soil as a moss preventer.

• Don’t forget to feed the birds and remember, there are many cheap types of birdseed on the market that may not be good for them. Please check for the best seed this time of year.

• Pay special attention to watering during winter. It is very important in this climate since “dry cold” conditions exist at times.

• While you are out working, make notes in your garden notebook and plan now for renovations, both hardscape and new designs.

• Plan for dormant season pruning for safety and structural enhancement. Do not top trees or prune just for the sake of pruning. If in doubt, contact a certified arborist.

• By mid February, add a generous dose of organic fertilizer to your trees and shrubs.

• After the first couple of hard frosts, spray dormant oil to control insects on infected plants, plan on repeating in early Feb.

• Mulch beds if needed.

• Once the work is done be sure to clean, sharpen and oil your garden tools as needed.

Happy gardening from the crew at The Nursery at Mount Si.

• Nels Melgaard is the owner at The Nursery at Mount Si in North Bend.

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