October 2020

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October Gardening Checklist


Plant spring-blooming bulbs. Fertilize and water in well.

Divide daylilies and spring-blooming perennials, including iris and peonies.

Rake leaves from the lawn and lower the mower blade.

Check your compost pile. Now is a good time to add a bio-activator to help break down brown leaves and lawn clippings.

Dig up summer-flowering bulbs, such as dahlias, cannas, tuberous begonias, caladiums and gladiolus after the frost kills the top growth. Pack them in peat moss, and store them in a ventilated area for winter.

Fertilize your trees after the leaves fall.

Fertilize azaleas, rhododendron, and evergreens with an acid fertilizer and other shrubs with a general purpose food.

Set up bird feeders. Clean out birdbaths, refill and purchase heaters for the winter.

Clean up and destroy diseased rose leaves and debris surrounding shrubs and perennials. Mound 10-12 inches of dirt around roses to protect from winter damage. After the ground freezes, cover roses with mulch or straw.

Remove annuals, roots and all, and add to your compost pile, but do not add any diseased material to it.

Cut back perennials unless they feature ornamental seed heads and fertilize with 5-10-5 food.

Prune long raspberry and rose canes back to a height of three feet. Clean up your beds and gardens to avoid harboring insects and diseases over the winter.

Update garden records, noting successes and failures, gaps in planting, future planting and landscape changes.

Water all landscape plants well and mulch before the winter cold sets in.

Spray evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron, boxwood and rose canes with an anti-desiccant for protection against wind and cold weather.

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