Editor's note: This is the final column of the season for Get Growing, written by the La Plata County Extension
Office's Master Gardener Program. It features timely tips and suggestions for your garden and landscape.
With winter knocking on the door, it is time to put your gardens - and this column - to bed for the season. I am
still expecting at least one last nice, warm weekend to finish the jobs that never seem to get done during these busy
Here are some recommendations from Colorado State University Extension that will help you with "tucking everything
b If you have a lawn, fall is one of the better times to fertilize. As long as your grass is still "green," apply
one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. If you're using a natural organic fertilizer you can double the rate.
The benefits of fall fertilizing include a healthier turf before winter, a healthier root system and stimulating a
turf that greens up earlier in the spring without excessive top growth.
b Compost fall leaves. Fall leaves are a valuable resource because they keep garden soil productive. As you add
whole leaves to the compost, moisten them until they're the consistency of a wet sponge.
b Protect your strawberries. Use 1 to 2 inches of straw mulch to protect the plants from winter kill. Make sure the
straw isn't allowed to blow away - use a screen, weighted boards or even piles of soil. Leave the mulch on as long as
possible to restrain plant growth in the spring.
b Apply manure to your garden beds. If you are using uncomposted manure, fall is the only time to add it to beds
with edible crops. Add no more than an inch and a half of manure to your bed.
b Plant garlic. It's not too late to plant garlic (pointy-end upward) - 6 inches apart and 2 inches deep - into a
rich, loose soil. Mulch the bed with a thick layer of leaves or straw.
See you all next year!