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How to protect your garden from the winter cold and hungry critters

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

As winter slowly approaches in the coming weeks, it’s always good to start planning ahead to get your yard, garden or landscape ready for the winter.

Saving your roses. Fussing about your perennials. Falling into winter used to mean a lot of work for home gardeners. But according to Aaron Steil, a consumer horticulture Extension specialist, he recommends against the fall cut-back.

"There was a big movement for leaving a clean slate in the fall, removing material before the frost and have a clean area. What we are learning is that it’s a lot of work and doesn’t benefit plants," Steil said.

Host Rick Brewer, in for Charity Nebbe, speaks with experts about what to do instead.


  • Aaron Steil, consumer horticulture extension specialist, Iowa State University
  • Jeff Iles, chair of the horticulture department at Iowa State University
Talk of Iowa IowaHort DayHorticultureGardening
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa