If you have a thick layer of leaves, don't let them stay on the lawn. They can mat down over the winter and cause your grass to deteriorate. Instead, rake them, bag them and save them to use as winter mulch once the ground starts to freeze.


Tiny beauties

Petite African violets deliver splashes of color during the dark winter months. The North Star African Violet Council offers a large selection of violet varieties and other gesneriads at a show and sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 22 and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 23, Bachman's, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. Expert violet growers will give tips on how to get your plants to re-bloom, repotting, fertilizers and propagation. Call 612-861-7600.

Plant names demystified

How do plants get their strange scientific names? "Botanical Latin: The Naming of Plants" is the topic of the Twin Cities Wild Ones meeting, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tue. at Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Dr., Richfield. Free. Call 612-293-3833.

Winter ready

Learn how to prepare trees and shrubs for winter at a Maplewood Nature Center class Oct. 22, 2659 E. 7th St., Maplewood. The indoor class is at 10 a.m. followed by an outdoor tree identification walk at 11 a.m. Come to one or both programs. For adults and families, ages 12 and older. Free. Registration deadline is Thu. Call 651-249-2170.

Bewitching buffet

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Oct. 22 cooking class is a Halloween-themed buffet featuring bug bites, vegetable spread with fresh herbs, sinister squash salad, freaky finger cookies and other recipes to take home. The hands-on class is from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Learning Center. Make sure to allow time to walk the grounds to view fall's finale of color. Cost is $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Call 952-443-1422 or go to www.arboretum.umn.edu.