The Minnesota Extension Service produces an informative newsletter called Yard & Garden Line News. Since all of Minnesota is in USDA hardiness zone 4 or lower, most, if not all of the information should be relevant to cold climate gardeners in North America, at the very least. I found a nice variety of topics in the latest issue, covering everything from the legal issues concerning nuisance trees, insects I was unfamiliar with, and a good checklist of what to do–and not do–in the coming month in your garden. Many publications have those to-do lists, but most are so general as to be useless. This one is much better focused on the realities of cold climate gardening, though you still might need to make a few mental adjustments if your local weather has been too rainy as opposed to too dry.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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