Some great notes from The University of Vermont Extension site –
Clean Up Garden Debris: Old leaves and stems can harbor overwintering insects and disease spores. Destroy any
obviously diseased or infested materials. Other material can be composted, but this does not always assure the
destruction of pests it may harbor.
Water Trees and Shrubs Thoroughly Before Freeze-Up: This is especially important for evergreens, which
continue to lose moisture through their foliage. Plants in moist, but not water-logged soils tend to survive the winter
Prepare Soil in New Gardens: Fall plowing is better than spring plowing for most garden soils, unless winter soil
erosion is a problem. Sod skimmed from the top of new beds can be added to the compost pile.