Use raked, mulched (shredded) leaves as a top dressing for perennial borders and vegetable gardens. Don’t be too tidy about cleanup. Those leaf piles provide winter habitat for some of our most important pollinators.
Install lightweight paper tree-trunk wraps around new trees, such as fruit trees and others planted on the south and west sides of your property. This protects them from dry, cold winters and sudden warm days, which could cause them to split.
Have your pressurized sprinkler system blown out as soon as possible.
Consider leaving a variety of seed heads and seedpods in your garden for fall and winter interest. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp. and cvs., Zones 3–11) seed heads look terrific in floral arrangements too.
—Mary Ann Newcomer is the author of two books: Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook and Vegetable Gardening in the Mountain States.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.