1) Prepare the soil. Remove plant debris - both crops and weeds from the garden and discard or compost. Fall tilling, except in erosion-prone areas, will improve soil structure and usually leads to faster soil-warming and drying in the spring, allowing crops to be started earlier.
2) Feed the lawn. Fertilize your turf now so the grass will look better over the winter months and will grow thicker tops and deeper roots in the spring.
3) Clean tools. Fill a bucket with coarse sand that's lightly moistened with motor oil and dip the metal ends of tools into it until they come clean, then wipe them with a dry cloth.
4) Make a map. Before all plants have died make a simple sketch showing where the plants are. This will help next year in rotating crops in a vegetable garden and for deciding where new plants will be planted.
5) Drain your hoses. Make sure that all outdoor pipes and spigots have been drained.
6) Store tubers. Dig up summer flowering bulbs, dry them thoroughly, and store them in a dark, cool, dry place.
7) Mulch. Mulch acts as a insulation, protecting plants' root systems. It also conserves soil moisture. Mulch should be applied no more than 3-4 inches deep. Pile mulch 3-6 inches away from tree trunks.
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