Be sure to supply water for the birds. There are heaters and solar sippers available to keep water open in the winter.
Seeds are plentiful in the fall but insect eaters can suffer. Put out suet along with birdseed. Suet cake in a suet cage is an easy way to supply food for insect eating birds like wrens and titmice. Very few birds, if any, eat millet. Look for good quality seed that contains little or none of this filler.
Clean out birdhouses but put them back up. Small birds especially will huddle together in a house to keep warm. Consider putting up small houses high under the roofs of your porches so birds have a protected area to keep warm.
Add evergreen trees and shrubs to your landscape. Not only do they add to the winter garden scene, they provide a safe place for birds to roost.
For the Garden
Clean plant material out of the vegetable patch. If insects or disease infected your vegetables, then do not compost them unless you are sure your compost will reach at least 150º Fahrenheit. Temperatures this high are very difficult to attain in home compost systems so it is better to trash any infected material. Don’t take the chance of re-infecting your garden with contaminated compost.
Dig up the vegetable garden to bring any over-wintering insects to the surface, where the cold and/or birds can finish them off.
Spread compost on your vegetable or flower gardens during any mild winter days. You can dig it in before you plant in the spring.
If your ground isn’t frozen, you still have time to plant bulbs. Tulips and daffodils are the most popular bulbs to go in this time of year. Consider planting lily bulbs. They are an easy and spectacular perennial. You can use them in your flower borders or in pots. The white lilies shown here are Casa Blanca lilies. Those flowers are coming from one mature bulb.
Chores in the garden have lessened considerably. Now is a good time to settle back with a good gardening book. Gather your books in November. May isn’t far behind.
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