October Garden ActivitiesM
ulching fall planted perennials will keep the soil warmer longer, allowing root growth to continue, however, the plants do need time to harden off for winter. Spread a thin layer of mulch after fall planting, and then add a thicker layer once the ground has frozen.
Shredding leaves, along with lawn clippings, dead plant stalks from the vegetable garden make a fine addition to the compost heap. And try this simply trick: remove all large vines and spent plants from the vegetable garden. Mix 1 can of cola (not diet), 1 cup of dish soap, and ¼ cup of ammonia and add to 20-gallon hose end sprayer and fill to top. Saturate the layer of mulch that’s left on top of the garden’s soil and then say, “Good Night” until the next growing season!
OCTOBER IS FOR PLANTING!
There is still time left to plant perennial seeds and bulbs! With a little effort at Fall planting time, you will speed the timing of that first new growth by as much as a month. During the fall months, after soil temperature drops below 60°F., the bulbs of spring flowering Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Siberian Squill, Dwarf Irises, Anemone, and Crocus should be planted.
Most spring flowering bulbs should be in the ground by the early part of this month, with the exception of Tulips which can be planted up until early November. Select healthy, disease free bulbs. Add bone meal or bulb fertilizer into the planting hole, as you prepare the soil.
The longer your house plants were allowed to remain outside in the fall, the more shock they will go through when they are finally moved indoors. If you haven't brought them in yet, do it now!
One last effort at weeding will help to improve the appearance of your garden throughout the winter. Any weed that you can eliminate from the garden this fall will possibly prevent thousands of weed seeds from sprouting in the garden next spring.
Keep lawn and garden raked clean of leaves and debris. Fallen leaves, old plant parts, weeds and grass clippings should be added to the compost pile.
Clean and oil your garden tools for winter storage. Place some sand and some oil in a large bucket and then vigorously slide your garden tools in and out of the sand several times. This will do an excellent job of cleaning them, as well as applying a light coat of oil to prevent rusting.
Now is the best time to have your soil tested. Treat the soil according to the results and it will be rejuvenated, revitalized, and ready when the warm weather returns in the Spring.
Do not prune or fertilize any trees or shrubs anymore this year. They need to go into a resting phase to prepare for the colder Winter months ahead.
Do cut back perennial foliage and shrubs to discourage winter pests. Leave flowers with seeds for the birds.