1. Be sure not to store apples or pears with vegetables. The fruits give off ethylene gas which speeds up the breakdown of vegetables and will cause them to develop a strange taste.
2. Bring out the bird feeders and stock them with bird seed for the birds. Remember to provide fresh water for them too.
3. Rake and dispose of apple and cherry leaves. Good sanitation practices reduce re-infestation of insects and diseases the following season.
4. Use small stakes or markers where you’ve planted bulbs or late starting spring plants in the perennial garden, to avoid disturbing them when you begin spring soil preparation.
5. After the ground freezes, mulch small fruit plants such as strawberries. One inch of straw or leaves is ideal for strawberries. Small branches may be used to keep mulch in place.
6. Clean and fix all hand tools. Repaint handles or identification marks that have faded over the summer. Sharpen all blades and remove any rust.
7. Drain your hoses and put them away so they don’t freeze and burst.
8. Keep mowing your lawn as long as the grass is growing. Meadow voles and field mice will damage turf and nearby trees and shrubs if they have long grass for food and cover.
9. Rake and compost large leaves from oak and maple trees. Smaller leaves from ash, honey locust, and birch trees may be chopped with a mulching mower when dry and left on your lawn.
10. Winter heating dries the air out in your home considerably. Help your houseplants survive by routine watering or by placing the pots on a pebble filled tray of water to ensure adequate humidity and moisture.