Fall cleanup: Rake up fallen tree/shrub leaves and compost them if healthy.
If you have had significant diseases such as downy mildew, apple scab, rose blackspot, powdery mildew, buckeye/horsechestnut foliar diseases or anthracnose, take them to the yard waste center where they can be hot-composted and properly destroyed.
For vegetable gardens, if you have not experienced foliar/plant diseases, (such as tomato early blight, late blight or Septoria leafspot) the leaves can be composted.
If your plants have had diseases, dispose of as recommended for diseased tree leaves above.
If you have had squash vine borer or cabbage looper caterpillars, be sure to remove and dispose of all plant debris as these pests can overwinter in the debris and return to haunt you next season.
If you have finished compost in your compost pile, you can spread it and till it in to vegetable garden beds so they are all ready to go next spring.
Be sure to bring in any clay or ceramic pots that are still outside so they don’t crack as the temperatures continue to fall. Empty rainbarrels and unhook from downspouts or cap them off so they don’t refill and crack during winter thaw events. Clean out gutters after leaves fall so that you don’t end up with a lot of ice dams over winter.
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