October Gardening Tips

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The days are becoming shorter.  Nights are getting cooler.  Soil temperatures are dropping.  Plants will need less water. October is one of the best planting times of the year.  Fall and winter rains will water so your irrigation system won’t have to.

  • Even in fall there are lots of annuals to plant: Alyssum, Iceland Poppy, Johnny-Jump Up, Snapdragon, Pansy, Primrose and Sweet William
  • October is a good time to divide and transplant overgrown clumps of bulbs. Transplant as you would new bulbs in well-amended, good-draining soil
  • Purchase Spring Bulbs now
  • Reduce water for deciduous trees as they begin to go dormant
  • Broadcast a fall fertilizer over areas watered by drip systems when 1″ of rain is expected and allow nature to do the water in.
  • Use clippers to avoid tearing fruit and snip off with a small section of their stems.  Apples picked with the stem attached to the fruit keep longer
  • Mulch over the roots of frost tender vines and groundcovers. Replenish mulches so they remain at 2-3 inches
  • October is the last chance to plant winter vegetables
  • Apply frost protective sprays on tender plants once night time temps reach the high 30’s
  • Allow Pumpkin and Winter Squash to grow to size and harvest when their stems have turned brown because they do not ripen off the vine
  • October is a good month to plant a new lawn using cool season grasses like Fescue
  • Fertilize  existing lawns
  • Rake up falling autumn leaves to help the lawn “breathe”
  • Apply a pre-emergent weed control to save backbreaking work in the spring. Do not apply if starting perennials from seed.  Be sure to follow the printed directions
  • Rake, pick up and dispose of fallen foliage to curtail overwintering insects and disease – especially under roses and fruit trees