It’s October and Fall is making its appearance in the garden.
As Fall kicks off during October, it is one of the best times of the year to garden and there’s plenty to keep you busy!
Here is a brief list of garden-keeping tasks for this month:
Prepare for color: it’s time to plant your spring flowering bulbs and late flowering perennials. Because those bulbs are underground and won’t pop out till next Spring, it’s a good idea to put markers on the spots where they are buried so that you don’t plant over them or dig them up by mistake!
Divide and move perennials that have grown too much in a clump over the summer.
Plant your paperwhite bulbs so that they’re blooming in time for Christmas.
Plant or move shrubs now. Fall is a great time for planting as the plants energy goes into establishing roots rather than growing upwards into shoots and leaves.
Trim your climbing vines and make sure they are securely fastened to their trellises so that they don’t get broken when the winds begin.
Prune all the shrubs and herbaceous perennials that should be trimmed at this time of year – hostas, certain ornamental grasses, spirea, bearded iris, beebalm, columbine, corydalis, crocosmia, daylily, margeurite, golden star, ground clematis, hardy begonia, peony, ph;ox, salvia.
Many plants should not be pruned until spring, so be sure to check with your garden center to avoid winter damage.
Get a head start on your flowers next spring: dig up all the tender ones that would normally die off in winter. Pot them and keep them in a light place protected from cold and frost, then replant in the spring. Geraniums and fuschias can be overwintered by removing from soil, trimming back and storing. Geraniums can be hung roots up while fuschias can be buried under soil.
If you’ve grown apples, now is the time to store them at between zero and seven degrees celcius.
Dry beans well before storing in airtight containers.
Clean and dry onions before storing.
Store root crops that have been cleaned in a cool, dry, dark spot. Trimming off the tops will help them to last longer. Squash / Pumpkins need to be cleaned well with bleach or vinegar solution and then stored in a cool, dry place.
To Rake or Not To Rake: Now’s the time when the trees really begin shedding their leaves. Some people like to take advantage of dry Fall days to blow these leaves clear, gathering them up and adding them to the compost heap. Others prefer to leave them in the garden as a protection for shrub and tree roots from the cold.