2017-10-11 / Columns

Starting Fall Clean Up

Garden Scene with Peggy Bolton

It’s hard to think of fall clean up with such warm, dry weather. But, one must keep in mind that we have had measurable snow by the end of October.

It is necessary to keep fruit tree trunks weeded and fallen fruit cleaned up.

Dropped fruit will bring in both deer and rodents. Once deer have eaten the fruit off the ground, they will begin tearing at the tree branches. Rodents will tunnel and start damaging the roots. When picking ripe apples, twist each until it loosens. This will help keep from damaging the tree. Do not prune fruit trees until early spring. Pruning now opens them up to disease.

Clean clay and cement birdbaths. Store them out of the elements for the winter. Most lawn ornaments and gazing balls need to be taken in before hard freezes. An unheated outbuilding will make an excellent storage area.

Keep falling leaves out of water gardens. Either take them out regularly or net the garden. Compost annual floating plants, so that they don’t rot in the water. Also, cut back any perennial water plants after they have frozen. Take in water garden pumps before water freezes.

Start composting any plant materials that are not diseased. Remember, anything that looks blighted should be bagged and sent to the landfill. Diseased materials will winter over in the garden and increase future disease problems.

Send specific questions to: Country Grown Perennials LLC, Peggy Bolton, 4801 Pines Brook Road, Walton, NY 13856. Visit us on the web at

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