What to do in October

It is October, time for the cold weather, last minute garden cleanup, and celebrating Halloween.

1.Time to do final lawn repairs and seeding before it’s officially too late. For next June’s harvest, plant unpeeled organic garlic cloves pointy end up in the garden. For holiday blooms start those paperwhites now! Place the bulbs pointy end up in a shallow container of gravel. Add water to reach bulb bottoms.

2. Time to plant rhubarb (it is perennial). Also prepare a bed for peas and spinach so you can sow seeds in the early spring. When the vines die back, you can even harvest winter squash!

3. Cover your ponds with netting, to keep out pesky falling leaves. Also clear out vegetable beds, till soil and incorporate compost, manure and lime into the soil as well. Apply potassium around the base of roses to increase resistance against winter, but DO NOT apply nitrogen. Cut back long whips to protect from wind damage.

4. Now is the time to start smothering the grass, so you can prepare new beds. Get cardboard or thick layers of newspaper to cover the ground and mulch over to keep in place. Cut down bee balm, blanket flower, bearded iris, columbines and day lilies also.

5. Time to clean those terra cotta pots and store them inside (if left outdoors in the winter, they will surely crack). Do not panick if the inner needles on evergreens turn brown. It is normal for the older needles to do that before shedding. Also buy some candy at the grocery store, and hand it out to little superheros and princesses on Halloween!

Thank you Jessica Damiano for the original information. You can read more here. 

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