Before & After Frost Tips

by Ardith Beveridge, Tastemaker in Residence - photos by Cindi Sutter

Before the first frost: 

Bring in the last of your tropical plants
Bring in begonias, geraniums and citrus
Take cuttings of coleus and other annuals for wintering indoors
Pick the last of all your tomatoes for ripening inside
Keep watering perennials, especially recent plantings
Keep weeding! I know you don't want to, but it makes for fewer weeds come 2016...
Plant daffodil and crocus

One more tip-get your fire wood in place early! I know, some of you don't need firewood, but for those who do, we've all played the carry it down the hill in the snow game and that's not fun. 

After the first frost:

Plant garlic and cover with straw or hay, then label it
Plant tulips (all the way into November!), plant allium, daffodil, crocus, etc. a tad earlier
Cut back and lift elephant ear, caladium, dahlia and other summer bulbs.
Really enjoy that spinach, kale, carrot, so sweet after the first frost!
Buy your fall and winter sticks like dogwood and willow that defoliated naturally - that's right! We buy sticks that are NOT chemically defoliated.
Clean out veggie garden and add compost or manure

Either: (but it’s so much easier before)!

Clean, cover and store all ceramic pots, birdbaths, etc. 
Put away furniture
Put away hoses
Rake and keep leaves for your compost pile (we store them in bags behind the garage)
Cut back spent perennials except those with winter interest like grass plumes or interesting seed pods (birds like them, too)
Cut back and discard anything diseased or broken