From the ground up: Fall garden chores prepare lawn, garden for winter

Learn about edible landscaping and permaculture principles at event on Sunday

March 28, 2014 | 10:29 pm

The urge to get out the blankets, make hot chocolate and settle by the fireplace is strong now that the temperatures have dropped. However, there is still a lot to do outside now to make next year’s bounty all the better. Linn County Master Gardener Jackie Hadenfeldt MacLaren outlines seven tasks you should add to your to-do list.

Q: What can I do now to get ready for next spring?

A: As the growing season draws to a close, consider these fall gardening activities to give you a jump start on spring gardening.

Surround the tree trunk with hardware cloth standing away from the trunk about 1 to 2 inches. Make sure it extends several inches above the expected snow depth. Hardware cloth is welded wire with very small square openings that forms a physical barrier to keep rabbits out. It’s available at most farm and home improvement stores.

Sharpen the blades of hoes, shovels and spades. Wipe metal surfaces with an oily rag or spray with WD-40. Sand rough wooden handles and wipe with linseed oil to prevent cracking. Store in a dry place.

Congratulate yourself on a job well done and imagine how good it will feel when everything is lined up and ready to go next spring.

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Questions on gardening, land use or local foods? Contact Michelle Kenyon Brown, community ag programs manager at Linn County Extension, mkenyonb@iastate.edu.

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