Well, I finally got it semi-accurate about the weather cooling down. We had a touch of frost, and now the scarves and flannel shirts are out and about!

In the meantime, it’s time to prepare your plants for fall and winter. Potted plants that you are going to bring indoors need to be checked throughly for insects or diseases. A simple spray of 1/2 gallon of warm water with about a half teaspoon of dish soap will kill most pests. If they have a few mealy bugs, (white fluffy patches) you can daub the bugs with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol, or spray the plant with it. 

You must make certain that they are watered and drained well too. The air inside our homes is very dry, so keep a close eye on them for a few weeks. Try to site them in a bright room, but not necessarily in direct sunlight. Try to keep them away from furnace vents or direct heat sources, and above all, keep pets and small children away from any that might be toxic to them. 

Now for the great outdoors. If you have acid loving plants like blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons, take your leaves you keep raking up and chop them up with your mower. Spread the around these plants to help acidifying the soil. Water them in well, too. It’s not always the cold that kills plants. The cold air is very drying to plants too, and most winter injuries can be traced back to lack or water. 

Trees will need a good watering to make it through the cold. Try to get a good slow soak for them if rains are scarce. Delay any tree or shrub pruning until after two or three hard freezes occur. This will ensure that the plant is truly dormant, and won’t try to break out any new growth that might get bit back.Roses and crepe myrtles should not be pruned or trimmed until mid spring, or until the blooms fall off of Forsythias. Delay fertilizing until spring so the plant doesn’t try to put out shoots prematurely.  

Get out your tape measures and garden hose to measure for any new beds you want, and start now to get all Bermuda grass roots out! Being diligent now saves you time and sweat next summer. Sharpen all garden tools and remove rust spots, and clear out the garden shed of all old chemicals. Midwest City has a chemical disposal unit on 15th Street just west of Douglas. Call them to see what days they take them. DO NOT POUR THEM DOWN DRAIN OR ON THE BORDERS OF YOUR YARD. That is dangerous and irresponsible! 

Plan now for spring planting, gathering catalogs and bookmarking websites for new plants and seeds. Dream big now and save your money for spring fun, and as always, 

Happy Gardening!