It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means it’s time to wrap up winter landscaping tasks for the year. If you live in the Midwest, you may be dreading the early onset of winter. I live in the Chicago area and we were “hit” with a whopping ½ inch of snow on Monday night, November 11. It is not that unusual for our area to get a few light snow falls in November. We have even had some years where several inches of snow fell in October. As is often the case with any snow event, the temperatures have dropped the day after the snow and are not predicted to climb back to normal temperatures until Thursday or Friday.
As I watched the snow fall last night, I thought about all the garden duties that I have left to do this year. I still have a number of dead annual plants to pull out before the ground freezes too deep. I have not cut back my roses for their winter time nap. I like to cut off all the foliage off my hostas as well. I have a bit of a problem with slugs feeding on my hostas. I have found that if I cut off the leaves every year, I can keep the slug damage in check. Slugs will lay eggs on the leaves and I can reduce their populations by removing the leaves.
I still have to apply late season fertilizer to my lawn as well. It may be cold right now, but it will warm up enough in the next couple of days that the ground will not be frozen. I also want to seed my lawn. Dormant seeding does work, but you have to wait until the chance for the seed to germinate has passed. If you plan to dormant seed your lawn, remember that you cannot apply crabgrass preventer next spring.
I hope the weather cooperates this weekend so I have a chance to get the rest of the yard work done. Since my beloved Chicago Bears have lost many of their star players to injuries, I may be able to work all day on Sunday as well and not watch as they play the Baltimore Ravens. It could get ugly.