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September 15, 1997

Home & Garden

Fall Gardening Checklist

  NW News Staff
   The American Nursery and Landscape Association (formerly American Association of Nurserymen) suggests the following general guidelines for fall yard and garden maintenance. For advice tailored to your specific growing zone, clip this list and review it with your local garden center.
   * Rake leaves onto compost pile or shred and use for mulch.
   * Fall is garden clean up time. Trim back spent perennials (except roses). Chop up debris and compost. pile loose mulch such as pine needles, straw, or leaves on tender plants that require protection roses young seedlings strawberries and perennials.
   * Harvest cold-sensitive vegetables before frost. Dig beets, radishes, and carrots when ground cracks at plant stem. Plant cool weather vegetables: kale, hardy onions, collards, cabbage, garlic and potatoes in some areas. Mulch well.
   * Evaluate your lawn. Some parts of the country can apply broadleaf weed killers if necessary. Fall is the time for one last mow in most areas. Seat mower blade to highest setting. Fescue lawns can be re-seeded now: summer grasses can be over seeded with rye in mild-winter regions. Drain gas and oil from all power equipment to prevent starting problems in spring.
   * Remove broken, diseased or damaged branches from trees and shrubs.
   * Plant new trees in fall. Give the new transplants an extra watering before winter sets in.
   * Enjoy fall annuals-mums, asters, pansies-in warmer regions. Cut back mums after they bloom. Deadhead pansies for prolific blooms all season long.
   * Plant daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs when soil is cool.
   Direct sow wildflower seed that requires cool temperatures- larkspur and poppies, for example.
   * If a live (not cut) Christmas tree is in your plans, dig its hole before the ground freezes and mulch well.
   * Continue to feed the birds with seed and suet -- they'll rid your trees of pest larvae, eggs, and insects.