Get outside and work on your garden this October! Cold weather is coming! It’s time to plan, tidy up and prepare for the cold winter ahead!
CREATE AND CULTIVATE NEXT YEAR’S GLORIOUS GARDEN
Fall is the ideal time to take stock of your garden and make notes about what you like and what you want to change. You may want to add more trees, shrubs, and bulbs or you might choose to move and divide perennials so your spring garden will be everything you dream of. Plot your vision for next year’s garden. Take pics, make sketches, and journal, then plan your future garden and reassess what you want and where you want it.
CLEAR THE CLUTTER AND GET TIDY
October is the time to tidy up your garden! Dig up and dispose of dying annuals. Cut back perennials as they begin to yellow. Rake up all those dead leaves and mulch your garden beds.
But what to do with those flower pots on the patio or deck? If small enough to move, you can bring some pots indoors where they can continue blooming over the winter. Large terra cotta and glazed pots, however, need to stay outdoors and should be protected so they won’t freeze or crack. Protect large pots by wrapping them in insulating material. Bubble wrap or burlap work well to keep clay pots and dormant plants snug until spring.
BE RESOURCEFUL AND RECYCLE DEAD LEAVES
All those fallen leaves are free fertilizer! Recycling leaves as a renewable resource delivers organic food to your soil and provides more than twice the mineral content of manure. If you don’t have a leaf shredder, an easy way to break leaves up is to run over them with a lawn mower. You’ll have to make several passes and will know the job is done when the leaves have been cut to dime-size pieces. Over time, as the shredded leaves settle in, microbes and worms recycle the leaf litter, giving you a richer soil. And best of all, it’s free!
THINK BEFORE YOU PRUNE!
It’s time to prune out dead material, damaged stems, and diseased plants, but don’t touch those beautiful spring flowering plants! Azalea, Rhododendron, Camellia, Lilac, Forsythia, and Dogwood bushes have already formed their spring flower buds, and if you cut them back now they won’t bloom in the spring! Wait to prune them until after blooms have faded in the spring.
Bearded Iris, Columbine, Daylilies, Clematis, Begonias, Daisies, Sunflowers, and Yarrow can all be cut back in the fall to discourage disease and insect pests. Remove dead foliage of herbaceous perennials and grasses when the top growth turns brown to keep them looking tidy.
WATCH FOR WEEDS AND KEEP ON WEEDING!
Be on the look out for wandering weeds that creep in and invade your garden! Keep on weeding throughout the fall to prevent weeds from going to seed and becoming problematic. Come spring, you’ll be happy you did.
TIME TO TAKE CARE OF ALL YOUR GARDENING TOOLS
Time to take down trellises and turn fountains upside down for storage. Don’t forget to detach, drain, and put away your hoses! Clean all containers, stakes, tomato cages, and garden ornaments. Also, clean, sharpen and oil your tools to extend their lifespan. Taking time to care for garden equipment helps prevent the spread of pathogens, disease spores, and insect egg cases.
BLESS YOUR GARDEN’S BOUNTIFUL BIRDS
Your garden is a special sanctuary and is home sweet home to many birds. Clean your bird feeders, make sure to rinse them well and keep them well-stocked throughout the winter. As seasons change into colder months, food sources become more scarce, so set feeders up to provide fresh food throughout the winter.
Don’t forget to leave some plants standing that have turned to seed. Echinaceas, Black-Eyed Susans, Asters, Globe Thistle, and Zinnias attract wildlife to your garden and can become a welcoming habitat and shelter throughout the winter.
ALL SET FOR SPRING!
The count down to a glorious garden that blossoms, burgeons and blooms is on – with only 200days ‘til spring!