Pamplin Media Group – GARDENING JOURNEYS: Getting your garden ready for bed

Tips to help get your own garden ready for fall, including gardening and landscape hints

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - Marilyn Clark Tips below will help you get your own garden ready for bed. But before you start, be mindful of the birds and beneficial insects.

For a wildlife-friendly garden, cut back plants that have had disease problems but leave some stems and seed heads that will provide food and shelter for birds.

For a pollinator-friendly garden, leave or create some habitat. Primary shelter sources for pollinators include stems and branches, trees, shrubs and wildflowers, leaf litter, undisturbed ground, bare ground, dead wood, brush piles and rock piles. Many of these features can be incorporated into your landscape in an attractive manner. Consider it a design challenge! Retaining such features, rather than ‘cleaning’ them all away will help you attract and support a diversity of beneficial insects to your landscape and garden while providing food sources for birds and other wildlife.

In the vegetable garden and orchard:

Protect tomatoes from frost or pick mature green tomatoes to ripen indoors.

Harvest potatoes when the tops die down, store in a dark location at around 40 degrees.

Pull up all dead vegetable plant material, leaves and stems, and compost healthy material.

Dig and divide rhubarb.

Spread compost or mulch on top of your vegetable garden.

Prune out dead fruiting canes in raspberries.

Monitor trailing berries for leaf and cane spot.

As needed, apply copper spray for peach and cherry trees.

Harvest and store apples, keep at 40 degrees, moderate humidity. Do NOT store apples with potatoes.

In the landscape:

Cut back perennial foliage after a killing freeze or when the stems have turned brown.

Mark areas where hardy volunteers have dropped their seeds so that next spring you can be on the lookout for the seedlings.

Rake up and remove all diseased leaves from the landscape and lawn,

Divide peonies and iris before the ground freezes.

Dig and store tender perennials and bulbs such as dahlias.

Propagate geraniums, fuchsias, chrysanthemums, and sweet potato vine by stem cuttings. Place in water above 50 degrees.

Clean and oil garden tools before storing for winter.

Before you put away your mower, drain gasoline and take it to the shop for blade sharpening and needed repairs.

Wrap trunks of young, thin barked trees (ash, aspen and maples) in November with paper tree wrap to prevent sunscald. Remove in April.

If you have a rodent problem, use hardware cloth to wrap around the base of small fruit trees and roses.

Transplant deciduous trees and shrubs after the leaves have fallen.

Water newly planted perennials, trees and shrubs before winter by deep soaking them before the ground freezes.

For winter protection of roses, cut back stems to knee/hip height and hill mulch around roses. Mulch after the ground freezes.

Mulch can also be added around the bases of azaleas, rhododendrons and berries for winter protection.

Prune your evergreen and conifers now through February.

Plant spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, crocus, daffodils and alliums.

When temperatures fall to freezing, drain or blow out your automatic irrigation system for the winter and insulate the valve mechanism.

For more information specific to Central Oregon gardening, you can look up the Deschutes website at: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/home-garden-landscape

For information specific to bee protection: https://xerces.org/publications/fact-sheets/nesting-overwintering-habitat

Marilyn Clark is an Oregon State University Master Gardener Volunteer, having completed the program in 2017. A member of the Madras Garden Club since 2009, she has been gardening in Culver since 2004.


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