October Garden Guide

  • On October 1, start treatment of poinsettias for bract coloration.  Place in total darkness for 15 hours every day for 2 months.  Night temperature should be 65-70 degrees F.  Keep soil moist.
  • Plant peonies until October 15.  Mulch after ground freezes.
  • Seed perennials such as Oriental poppy, Iceland poppy, gas plant, primrose, scabiosa, phlox, pansy, and penstemon.  Mark where planted.
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs.  Bulbs can be planted up to six weeks after first fall frost.  Fertilize existing bulb beds with bone meal, milorganite, or 5-5-5 fertilizer.
  • Harvest gladiolas at least six weeks after bloom and before ground freezes.  Cure for 3 days at 80 degrees before storing.  Label and store at 40-45 degrees in open trays.
  • Remove Iris leaves to prevent over wintering of iris borer eggs.  Cut leaves to four-inch fans.
  • Store tuberose at 45 degrees F, tuberous rooted begonias at 45-50 degrees, and caladium at 60 degrees.
  • After killing frost, rose bush foliage should be stripped and old leaves cleaned from bed.  Shortly before ground freezes, roses should be given good deep soaking.  Prune branches to prevent wind damage or to fit under rose cones.
  • Sow seeds of hardy annuals: cleome, pinks, candytuft, larkspur, bachelor buttons, and clendula.  Mark where planted.
  • Plant Jerusalem artichoke during last two weeks of month.
  • Prepare vegetable garden soil for early spring planting.  Remove old stalks to prevent insect and disease problems next year.  Spread manure, incorporate into soil.
  • Rejuvenate rhubarb by dividing into quarters and replanting.
  • Cut back asparagus ferns and dispose to prevent insect and disease problems.  Mix manure into soil & mulch with straw.
  • Use mulch around brussels sprouts to moderate soil temperature and prolong harvest.
  • Water plants well for more cold tolerance.
  • Plant garlic 2-3 inches deep. Cover with 4-6 inches of straw.
  • Rake, chop and compost any fallen leaves from lawn.
  • Fertilize shade trees when leaf color changes and leaves drop.
  • Plant dormant deciduous trees and shrubs now until ground freezes.  A two-inch layer of mulch reduces freezing and thawing, which can damage roots.
  • If fertilizing lawn one time a year,  apply it in the third week of October.  If fertilizing twice a year, apply in October and early June.  If three times a year, include a September application.
  • Water Evergreens and foundation plantings before freeze.
  • Protect woody ornamentals and fruit trees against mice.
Sharing is Caring - Click Below to Share