• Rake fallen leaves. If left on the lawn they can get slippery, form mats and smother the lawn where diseases like snow mold may take hold.
• Hate to rake? Leave the leaves on the lawn to improve the turf and soil life below. But first mow over the leaves several times in different directions (they should be dry). These small pieces of leaf litter add valuable nutrients to your lawn and it won’t lead to thatch build up.
– Certain tree leaves like cottonwood and oak don’t break down easily, so use less for mulch or add to the compost pile.
• Mulch new plantings or tender roses after a couple of hard freezes. Mound them with well-draining compost, or shredded bark.
•Apply a 2-3″ layer of mulch (bark, shredded bark, pine needs or chopped leaves) around trees, shrubs and perennials after the ground freezes. Be sure to keep mulch at least 6 inches away from the stems or trunks of the plants to prevent voles and mice from nesting.
•Any extra leaves not needed in the landscape can be shared or taken to local leaf drops, check with your municipality for dates and locations.
•Turf grass benefits from a final fertilization before going dormant for the season. Nitrogen helps the root system and aids greening up in the spring. Apply when the lawn is still green and moist so there is good absorption. Water a day or two before application if it’s been dry. Bonus for turf roots if aerating first, followed by fertilization.
•Prepare the lawn mower after the final mow. Prevent damage to the carburetor by using up all the gas in the lawn mower. Disconnect the spark plug, clean the underside with a putty knife or wire brush and sharpen the blade before storing for the winter. The oil can be drained and changed now or early next spring.
•Cutting back dead foliage on perennials in the fall or spring is a gardener’s choice. Plants receive additional insulation and protection from our frequent freeze/thaw cycles when foliage is left in place. Any recently planted perennials and shrubs should not be cut back in the fall. Let ornamental grasses provide winter structure in the garden. Birds appreciate finding seeds and hiding in standing foliage.
•Overwinter containerized shrubs like roses in an unheated garage, away from drafts. Water at least once a month; don’t let the soil completely dry out.
•Spring bulbs are still available in garden centers and can be planted until the ground freezes.
•Drain outdoor hoses after use, but keep them close by to winter water the landscape, especially new plantings of bulbs, trees, and roses.
•Blow out automatic sprinkler systems if not done in October.
•Put away garden products and fertilizers. Gather up outdated products and properly dispose of them through your municipality’s hazardous waste program.
•Store garden tools for the season after cleaning. Get a jump on next season by sharpening before stowing.
•Prepare new planting holes for bareroot plants (mainly small trees or roses) that can be ordered this fall for shipping and planting in late winter to early spring.
•Check wiring, straps and stakes on newly planted trees — make sure they aren’t pinching or girdling the trunk or nearby branches. Supports are only necessary for one to two growing seasons.
•Prevent winter sunscald damage to trunks of young, thin-barked, leafless trees by covering them with tree-wrap. Remove the wrap in April.
•In the fall it is common and normal for the inner most and oldest evergreen needles to turn brown and fall off.
•Prepare new spring planting areas this fall. Sheet composting or “lasagna gardening” is an easy and no cost way to prepare new beds by using leaves, lawn clippings, spent foliage, cardboard and kitchen scraps. First, remove rocks and debris or mow the grass low in the chosen space. Frame the bed size with cardboard or sheets of newspaper. Then plop on alternating layers of organic matter (browns and greens in the compost world). Time and weather do all the breaking down so next spring you’re ready to plant.
•Adding homemade or commercially bagged compost in the fall is ideal for vegetable beds if the organic matter is low (below 5 percent) or if the planting area is brand new. Do a soil test now to determine the organic matter percentage and test for nutrition or soil quality issues.
•Remove all dead vegetable foliage, and all diseased leaves. After clean-up, put your vegetable garden to bed with a thick layer of organic mulch.
•Take photos and jot down notes about the gardening season — what worked, where to improve and project ideas for next year. Include a list of new plants including bulbs.
•Store left over seed packets in a dry place like glass jars or plastic boxes. Some seeds are viable for several years if properly stored.
•Forcing bulbs indoors including tulips, crocus, narcissus, hyacinths and iris requires potting and then storing the planted pots for 10 to 16 weeks in cold storage at 35 to 50 degrees (tricking them like they are growing in the ground outdoors). They can be placed in an unheated garage or shed that won’t freeze, or outside in the ground buried at soil level. After the chilling period bring them inside the house. Plants will bloom in two to three weeks. Look for bulbs that are bred for indoor forcing-listed on the plant tag.
•Start amaryllis bulbs indoors in early November for late December bloom, and stagger planting additional bulbs into the New Year. There are many colors to try, but shop now for the best selection and quality. Use fresh potting soil in 6-inch pots with a third of the bulb showing above the pot rim. Water well and place in a cool area. Hold off on watering until growth appears, then water more frequently and move to a sunny location.
•Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cacti usually bloom anywhere from now through April. Cool temperatures (60 degrees at night) and nine hours of sunlight cue these plants to bloom after six or more weeks. Reduce watering when the flower buds form, then water weekly as the buds swells. Flower color deepens when the plant is allowed to dry out between watering (if it’s too dry the flowers will drop).
There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October. ~~Nathaniel Hawthorne
This month we welcome fall, celebrate the harvest, decorate and carve pumpkins for Halloween, and create all sorts of yummy recipes with them. The worst of summer’s heat should be over and cooler temperatures heading our way.
October is a great month in the garden too! It’s a great time to take a fresh look around your garden, find tired perennials that need to be cleaned up, or divided and transplanted. Do you see spots that could use brightening up with annual color? Do you have herbs that you’d like to harvest and preserve to use in the winter? Now is the time!
Replace your summer color with cool season annuals. Decorate your entryway with containers of mums and asters accented by colorful pumpkins and gourds and enjoy the beautiful weather. When you stop by our garden center, let us show you plants that have great fall color, berries, and flowers. Plant those now to enjoy in fall for years to come.
Take this helpful checklist with you into your garden:
October Garden Checklist:
- Divide perennials and replant them; cut back faded blooms and dead foliage
- Fall is for planting – plant new perennials, trees and shrubs
- Transplant existing trees and shrubs as needed
- Plant cool season annuals like African daisies, sweet peas, pansies and snapdragons– remember to water them regularly while temperatures are still warm
- Also plant cool season edibles like lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots, peas, broccoli, and cauliflower
- Plant bulbs now for a brilliant spring show
- On your porch and patio –protect your furniture and grill. Slip-on covers will protect them during the winter
- To add color throughout the winter, place brightly colored container gardens filled with annuals throughout your garden.
The gardening season is coming to a close, but it’s not entirely over yet. If you’re an avid green thumb, you can still squeeze a little more out of the growing season. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of the end of the year and how to get your garden set up for next year.
Plant Bulbs For Spring Flowers
Fall is the perfect time to plant bulbs like tulips, irises and crocuses, which need a winter freeze to start their growing process. By getting them in the ground now, you will ensure a colorful garden by early spring. For best results, plant bulbs once temperatures are in forties and fifties, but several weeks before the ground completely freezes.
Look for Discounts
Get a jump on next year’s garden by buying gardening equipment, seeds and plants at discounted prices. Many garden centers slash prices in the fall months to move unsold stock. Store seed packets in the freezer to keep them fresh, and keep discount seedlings going indoors until you can replant them next spring.
Repot Overgrown Plants
If a summer’s worth of growth has caused your plants to outgrow their homes, take some time this fall to replant them in larger containers. Dense or compacted soil, poor drainage, or roots creeping out of the bottom of a pot are sure signs that plants are root bound and struggling for more space.
Depending on what region you live in, winter doesn’t have to be a dead season. Some hearty plants like kale, lettuce, broccoli and chard thrive in colder temperatures and can even tolerate the occasional frost. As long as snow stays off the ground and the temperatures don’t dip below freezing for too long, these plants will continue to grow, allowing you to garden into the winter months.
Plant Some Quick Growers
September isn’t too late to grow a final crop. Many vegetables can go from seed to table in as little as four to six weeks, giving you vegetables by late October or early November. Radishes can be grown in around 25 days, and some leafy greens like spinach take as little as 40 days to grow, so get in a final few vegetables before the frost sets in.
Plant Shrubs and Saplings
If you plan on adding trees and shrubs to your yard, fall is the best time to do it. By planting these plants in the fall, you’ll give their roots a chance to get established and avoid the withering effects of the summer sun. You’ll want to plant trees and shrubs in the ground a few weeks before the first frost, and if you live in an area with colder temperatures and heavy snows, wrap their branches and leaves in burlap to protect them from their first winter.
Once your garden has gone to seed and perennial plants have run through their life cycle, it’s time to trim them back. Not only will it clean up an overgrown garden, but it will give the plants more energy next year, and limit potential garden problems like powdery mildew or insect infestations.
Fertilize the Lawn
While it might look like your lawn has shut down for the season, a little lawn care in the fall months will guarantee a lush, green garden next spring. Growth slows above the surface in autumn, but beneath the soil, your lawn is still hard at work establishing strong roots. Help it out this fall with a good mix of phosphorus-rich fertilizer, which helps strengthen roots.
There is a false perception in the gardening world that fall is the end of the growing season. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Fall is an ideal season for planting trees, shrubs and other assorted plants. The key is encouraging good root growth. Planting trees and shrubs in fall enables the root systems to grow before the hot summer returns.
Smaller plants will be established before winter sets in, and get a head start over shrubs in the spring. Larger plants will also get a head start since a general rule of thumb is one year per one inch of trunk diameter.
Fall officially begins with autumnal equinox in late September. The ideal time to begin planting trees and shrubs is six weeks before the first sign of hard frost. September through November is the ideal time for tree planting because it allows the roots to become established before the ground freezes and winter sets in. However, it is highly recommended that you do not continue planting trees too late into the fall because this can have a negative impact on plant health.
Cooler, wetter weather is the perfect time for tree planting. With an increase in rainfall and cooler temperatures in the fall, less watering is needed. As tree shoot growth halts, the trees require less water because the days are cooler and shorter and the rate of photosynthesis decreases. Stable air temperatures also promote rapid root development. Soils stay warm well after the air temperature cools, also encouraging root growth. During shoot dormancy, trees grow to establish roots in new locations before warm weather stimulates top growth.
There are several benefits to fall planting. Trees planted in the fall are better equipped to deal with heat and drought in the following season. Another great reason to plant your shrubs in the fall is because you can pick your trees and shrubs by the fall color they produce. Avoid planting broad leaved evergreens in the fall such as rhododendrons, azaleas, boxwoods and hollies. If planted, provide them with protection from winter winds and have them treated with an anti desiccant. Some tree species that are recommended for fall planting include the maple, buckeye, horse chestnut, alder, catalpa, hackberry, hawthorn, ash, honey locust, crabapple, amur corktree, spruce, pine, sycamore, linden and elm.
Article from saveatree.com
New item for fall! Pumpkin chimeneas! Stop by to see our unique selection of this new product line now available at Daniels!