1. Once the ground has frozen (but before it snows), mulch fall planted perennials by placing 3 to 5 inches of pine needles, straw, chopped leaves around them.
2. Continue to thoroughly water trees, shrubs, planting beds, lawn areas and recently planted evergreens until a hard frost. Plants should go into the winter well watered.
3. Remove any remaining fruit from fruit trees. Rake up and dispose of old leaves and debris to prevent insects and diseases from overwintering.
4. Thoroughly clean bird feeders and fill them with birdseed. Clean birdbaths and consider a heating unit to provide fresh water throughout the winter.
5. Cut back most perennials to 3-4 inches, but ornamental grasses, sedum, and hellebores can be left to provide winter interest.
6. Cover strawberry beds with an inch or so of straw once the ground freezes.
7. Pull stakes and plant supports. Clean them with a 10% bleach solution before storing for the winter.
8. Protect grafted roses from winter damage by mounding 10-12 inches of soil around the base once the ground has frozen.
9. Trim existing asparagus foliage to the ground after the first hard frost and mulch beds.
10. Pull annuals and add them to the compost pile. For annuals that self-seed, allow some seed-laden stems to remain in place.
For more information visit the UConn Home and Garden Education Center or call 877-486-6271.
Photo: Purdue Extension