It's been a wild month. Dramatic temperature drops and record lows for the month may spell trouble ahead. 

Because woody plants -- trees and shrubs -- didn't have the opportunity to shut down properly, they may have been damaged. If trees don't leaf out in spring or roses die over winter, we can point the finger at October weather. 

On a typical Halloween, my front porch steps would be decorated with mums and pumpkins. Not this year, it's just too cold. The display is on my dining room table. 

Meanwhile, it seems half my garden is in exile in the house or my greenhouse. I save as many plants as possible every fall, from bananas and dwarf citrus trees, to succulents and scented geraniums. 

They're in every room and every window of the house. Light levels are diminished and day length is shortened in winter. So don't expect robust growth; keeping them alive is the objective. Groom your plants periodically--they're bound to drop lower leaves--and keep them watered. They'll survive to see another summer. 

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