You may have to pull up your frost-damaged basil, but don't haul in the hoses just yet. Perennials, shrubs, trees and even your grass benefit from going into winter well-watered. As long as it remains dry, keep the sprinklers going. From the

If you're like most gardeners, you probably have a lot of plastic pots cluttering up your garage. (I even have a little stack stashed in the corner of my deck, leftovers from my last frantic planting spree.)

With fall cleanup on the brain, it's tempting to toss all those pots and plastic trays in the trash. Resist the urge. Instead, recycle them at one of 45 garden centers statewide.

The Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association's garden plastic recycling program, now in its sixth year, has kept millions of pounds of plastic out of landfills. More than 30 garden centers have been accepting plastic pots all growing season. On Sunday another dozen garden centers -- including Bachman's, Wagner Greenhouses and Uncommon Gardens -- will join the effort.

Bring in any size plastic pot that held flowers, shrubs or trees you bought at a garden center. You can also bring in those little polystyrene trays that annuals and bedding plants are sold in. (Other types of household plastic will not be accepted.) Wipe excess soil from the pots, and remove any metal hangers.

The participating garden centers receive no payment for the plastic they recycle, according to the MNLA. It's a service they provide free of charge, in an effort to reduce landfill waste. To see which garden centers are participating in this program, visit


Bulb basicsStart digging in your garden now for vivid color next spring. At Gertens' Fall Bulb Planting Workshop, you'll learn how to pick the right varieties for your soil condition, flowering times, fertilizing and critter-proofing. The free program is at 11 a.m. Saturday at 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights. Call 651-450-1501.

Dividing peoniesFall is the best time to dig, divide and plant peonies. Minnesota Peony Society members will demonstrate how to make the right cuts, clean the roots and answer questions at noon Saturday in Bachman's Heritage Room, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. Peony growers will offer peony roots, including hard-to-find collectible plants, hybrids and tree peonies, at a fundraising auction from 1 to 4 p.m. Call 612-861-7600.

Arb apple house is open

For fresh-picked fruit, try the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Apple House as an alternative to the grocery store. There also are pumpkins, squash and other fall vegetables, baked goods, jams, jellies and maple syrup for sale inside the rustic shed, 1 1/2 miles west of the arboretum entrance on Hwy. 5 in Chaska. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through late fall. Proceeds benefit the University of Minnesota apple research program. To find out when popular Honeycrisp and other apple varieties will be available, call 952-443-1409 or go to www.arboretum.