What to do for frozen Hydranges

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/frozen-hydrangea-76174.html

Pruning

Don’t act too quickly to repair frost or freeze damage. Though your hydrangea may be a mess for a week or so, wait until temperatures are consistently warm before taking out your bypass pruners to repair the damage. If you prune immediately and a freeze strikes again, you expose new parts of the hydrangea to potential damage and it saps the plant’s energy to recover again. Once the weather is cooperating, prune damage away to the next healthy bud or set of leaves. Old-wood bloomers may still bloom at the bottom of the plant if damage was not extensive. New-wood bloomers can be cut to a few inches off the ground and bloom just as they would have without the frost. Water well and work 1/2 cup of a slow-release fertilizer — less for a small hydrangea — into the soil over the root ball of the hydrangea to help it recover.

Damage Prevention

In climates that typically have mild winters, where you plant your hydrangea can make a difference in whether or not it gets any damage at all from a rogue freeze. Planting where it benefits from the reflected heat of a masonry wall with an eastern or southern exposure, and under an overhang or a tree canopy that lets in filtered light, all reduce frost and freeze damage. Avoid planting hydrangeas at the bottom of a slope or other low-lying area where frost pockets can form. When a choice location won’t ward off damage, water plants well before frost strikes — the air above wet soil can be 5 degrees warmer than other air and maintains its heat until morning, according to Cornell University Extension. Covering a prized hydrangea with a sheet or frost cloth can provide 4 to 8 degrees of protection, which could be just enough to avoid damage. Drape all the way to the ground and cover before sunset for best results.

Fall Cleanup Guide from Organic Gardening

The pros at Organic Gardening have compiled a list of Fall cleanup to help you control and contain your garden effectively.

“You and your fall garden benefit when you give your plants the same TLC in fall as you do in spring and summer. Wildlife will find food and shelter, weeds will be easier to control, and plant diseases as well as pests will no longer drive you crazy. Follow Organic Gardening‘s guide to the tasks and tools to help you through the season’s finale—and you can thank us come spring.”

Read the full article here, including a bulleted To-Do list.

Fall Lawn Care

Fall is the time for aeration and liming.  Most soils in the Willamette Valley tend to become acidic over the years.  Your lawn likes to have a pH around 6.5.  When the pH drops below this lawns tend to struggle and become less resistant to diseases.  Also Moss that starts to take over your lawn in the fall and winter thrives at the lower pH levels.   Putting down lime as the fall rains start to move in helps to raise the pH.  pH testers are available at most Garden Center to find out the pH of your lawn.
 
Aeration of lawns has multiple benefits.  The main benefit is it will allow more oxygen into soil and loosens up compacted soil on the surface.   A side benefit from loosening up the surface soil is better drainage at the surface so less water runs off.  Aeration should be done at least once a year or twice for high use lawns or turf maintained with large equipment.  Spreading lime after aeration is best as it allows the lime to get directly into the soil.