October Gardening Checklist

  • Remove summer annuals.  Plant chrysanthemums, pansies, and ornamental cabbage and kale in your beds. The colors of fall aren’t limited to yellows, reds, and purples; I’ve added Ryan’s Pink Chrysanthemums this year!
  • Plant spring blooming bulbs like crocus, daffodils, and tulips now to enjoy next year.
  • Cut back dying foliage on perennials to neaten your garden. If the plant is woody or twig-like, like a butterfly bush, do not cut the foliage back until early spring.
  • Cut back any plant that had disease or insect problems.
  • Lightly fertilize plants and beds where bring blooming bulbs are plants with bone meal (follow package directions).
  • Fertilize spring blooming shrubs like azaleas and rhododendrons with a slow release fertilizer.
  • Divide spring and late-summer blooming perennials if needed.
  • Weed then mulch garden beds to a depth no greater than 3”.
  • October is a great month to add trees and shrubs to your garden.  I’m adding blackberry and blueberry bushes to my garden now and plan to enjoy the “fruits” of my labor next summer!
  • Have you tried overwintering your annuals? My neighbor and friend, Carol, brings in a bounty of annual plants into her garage for the winter.  She’s hangs a florescent light overhead, cuts the plants back, and keeps them watered.

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