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Gardening Tips by Month | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Gardening Tasks by Month for Pittsfield, MA

Clean shovels, spades, pruners, and garden tools, cleaning all debris and wiping with an oiled cloth. Sharpen blades.
By the end of the month, winterize the lawnmower, wiping off all dirt and debris to avoid rusting and wear.
To rejuvenate a tired lawn, aerate, spread a thin topping of compost, and rake again.
Till the soil in your vegetable garden to help reduce pests next spring. Also,destroy breeding places for pests and disease by removing debris from your garden.
Cover empty beds with straw or shredded leaves to keep weeds from growing.
Bring garden furniture under cover if you have not already done so.
Wrap young evergreens in burlap to protect from the extreme of winter.
Cover strawberries two inches deep with hay or straw.
To protect tender perennials from harsh winter weather, place a wooden frame over plants after the ground has frozen and fill with leaves.
Apply protective mulches on the perennial garden after the ground has frozen an inch or two.
Scrub and disinfect flowerpots from debris, soaking with mild bleach water solution and rinsing.
Use small stakes or markers where you’ve planted bulbs or late-starting plants in the perennial garden to avoid disturbing them when you begin spring soil preparation.
You can still plant some spring-blooming bulbs, as long as the soil is workable.
Make certain that climbing roses are securely attached to their supports.
Now is a good time to plant new trees and shrubs; apply a layer of mulch around the plants and keep the soil moist.
Work a trowelful of bonemeal into the soil around your rosebushes, then hill up more soil or mound bark mulch high around the base of the rose.
Add mulch to flower and bulb beds after the ground freezes to help prevent winter damage.
Prune grapevines.
Bring in any tender houseplants and place them in a sunny spot. Wash off any dust or insects.
It’s never too late to apply lime to your lawn, as long as snow doesn’t stop you from pushing the spreader. The minerals in lime retain their value until the grass is ready to grow again.
Throw away any fruit left on the ground or on the trees; this will help eliminate pests and diseases from your yard.
Give the compost pile a good turning before winter sets in.
Store your harvest in a root cellar or cold basement.
Give all trees and shrubs plenty of water before the ground freezes.
Order fruit trees for next year.
Check trees around your house for weak branches that should be removed by you now, rather than by snow and ice later.
Cover trees and shrubs that may be damaged by deer.
Bring garden hoses in soon and drain outdoor faucets.
Now is the ideal time to landscape with trees and shrubs; dig and transplant trees and shrubs because their roots will continue to grow even though the rest of the plant is dormant.
Check the trees around your house for any weak branches that should be removed now, before the snow and ice hits.
Prune deciduous trees, but only for structural and safety purposes. Do not prune fruit trees until February or March.
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