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Avoid "plant mush" and pests

While leaves are Mother Nature's blanket, it's best to clean a few things out before the snows arrive.

Avoid ‘plant mush’ next spring by removing frost-killed annuals from your gardens. Similarly, when your hostas get hit by a hard frost and collapse, cut them to the ground. And clean out and store for the winter those containers you filled with annuals this past summer. If you want to re-create one of your outdoor containers from this year, make notes of what you loved and put in your 2019 calendar for April or May.

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.

- Liberty Hyde Bailey

Finish the clean-up of vegetable gardens to prevent disease or troublesome insects from overwintering in old vines, weeds, stalks and other debris. Once the top few inches of soil freeze, your clean-up window has closed.

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