Winter is coming! Living in Wisconsin, we are accustomed to winter showing up early so, whether we like it or not, it is time to start preparing. Even light frosts can pose dangers for more tender plants like your begonias, tomatoes, and peppers. Be prepared ahead of time so you do not get caught off guard!
- Store bulbs of summer-flowering tender perennials (cannas, calla lily, begonias) if you haven’t already.
- Spot treat broadleaf weeds. This is most effective after the first light frost or multiple nights in a row with temperatures into the 30’s.
- Collect soil samples now for testing if desired to prepare for next year’s fertilization.
- Protect tender vegetables if early frost is predicted by covering them just before sundown.
- Dig up any frost-sensitive annuals and to bring them indoors for winter blooms.
- Finish planting tulips, daffodils, crocus, and hyacinth.
- Begin winterization of plant material.
- Remove and compost asparagus, peony, and rhubarb tops.
- Individual garlic cloves can be planted and will result in full garlic bulbs next year.
- Fertilize established trees and shrubs. Fertilization is especially recommended for more unique varieties and plants under stress.
- Fertilize houseplants for the last time until March.
- Wrap trunks of young or thin-barked trees such as green ash, honeylocust, maple, and linden with tree wrap.
- Rake or mow leaves and make sure thick leaves are not left under the snow all winter. If leaves have fungus or disease make sure to remove them.
- Continue mowing the lawn until it stops growing.
- Note crabgrass areas of lawn after they are killed by hard frost and apply crabgrass preventer to prevent its return in the future.
- Drain hoses and empty bird baths before the first hard frost.