It's time to start prepping your garden for Winter! As we have discussed Wilt Pruf before and it can be applied anytime now for winter protection, providing the daytime temperature is above 45 degrees. Wilt Pruf is an anti-desiccant which is sprayed onto a plants' foliage to prevent transpiration, the loss of water.
If any perennials have died back, they can be cut down and cleaned out of the garden. Leave a 1" to 2" stubble so you know where they are so as not to plant over them next spring. Plant debris should be completely removed to cut down on any over-wintering insects and disease.
Dahlias can be lifted out of the ground after a few frosts have killed off the stalks. After lifting, wash the tubers off with water to remove any soil on them and let them dry. When the stalks have turned brown, cut them down leaving about 3" attached to the tubers. Some gardeners spray the tubers with Wilt Pruf before storing. Store them in a cool, dry place.
Pruning in the fall depends on the plant. Gray foliage plants (Buddleia, Caryopteris, Russian sage, Lavender) should not be pruned now. These and other Summer to Fall bloomers and should be pruned back in late winter or early spring.
Call or come visit Dr.Z to have the rest of your gardening questions answered.