Give your plants a fighting chance this winter
With Fall coming soon and snow flying just as soon, it's a good time to get your yard ready for that long winter nap.
First thing I do is bid a sad farewell to my color spots. I remove them completely and store all the pots for the winter. If you use clay pots, be sure and take them out of the moisture before the first real freeze or they could crack and break. I also do the exact same thing to my annuals in my vegetable garden. It's not an absolute necessity, but it sure cuts down time in the spring when you're planting, as everything is already ready to go.
I don't even know if this will work, but I've had an INCREDIBLE problem with destructive insects this year, so I will also be putting down Diatomaceous Earth for a couple of weeks where it will get all over those little buggers and kill them dead so they don't vex me again next year. I've been told this will dehydrate insects without being poisonous to us or animals. I guess I'm about to find out.
In these articles, they say to dig up your bulbs when the foliage turns yellow, remove the dirt and then let them dry. After 2 weeks they say store them in wood or cardboard. I honestly don't know if we have to do this in Montana. Honestly, my bulbs are on their own. If you don't live through the winter in the ground, maybe you weren't meant to be in my Montana garden.
Another suggestion is for trees and shrubs and covering them in burlap and covering their base with mulch to prevent frost heave. In my house, it's the same rules for shrubs as bulbs, but maybe you're a better plant owner.
One thing I'd like to just suggest, is in areas where you can stand it, leave the remnants of fall. Our local critters can use that for protection from the elements, food sources and more. Same goes with raking leaves. They WILL decompose quickly and a lot of critters count on ground cover for survival. This all comes down to a tolerance level, honestly.