Garden care tips for autumn

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By Special to the Monitor

Autumn signals the end of the growing season, leaving gardeners with mixed feelings; no more pests or weeds, but it is sad when the first frost zaps the tender plants.
Some autumn duties gardeners share include:
• Pull used leaves off shrubs
• Plant spring flowering bulbs
• Divide perennials
• Fertilize cool season grasses
• Cut back on watering at the end of September
• Renew mulch on perennial beds
• Cut out canes on raspberry plants that bore fruit this season
When it comes to the vegetable garden, fall is a good time to have your garden soil tested so that you can add any needed nutrients to the garden, that will slowly work into the soil over the winter.
Once this has been done, cover it with at least two inches of compost and top with straw.
Be sure to clean out dead plants and small piles of garden waste where harmful insects live.