Before you settle in for the winter, there's a few more chores that need your attention that will make gardening again in the spring more of a breeze.
- Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear. Leaf and debris clogs can force winter rains to pour over the sides of your gutters and into planting beds.
- Drain your rain barrel, disconnect it from your downspout and give it a good cleaning. Then keep it inside your garage or shed or covered it for the winter.
- Remove stakes and irrigation bags from your trees. The exception is if your tree went in the ground this past spring. Take off the bag, but leave the stakes. Any tree that's been in the ground longer should be denuded of its stakes.
- Before it gets too cold, give your lawn and trees a drink. And mulch, mulch, mulch!
- When trees go dormant, that's a good time to trim. Make sure your tree is the type that needs to be dormant first before you hack away at it.
- Speaking of hacking away, now's the time to take care of your tools. Sharpen what you've used this summer and store away from moisture. Get the dirt off your shovels, and if you have room, store them in a bucket of sand.
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