Friday, October 2, 2009

October Gardening

Gardening in October is entirely dependant on the weather. If there's an Indian Summer, there is no better time of year to be out in the garden. While gardeners in warm areas will have more to do than their northern counterparts, there are plenty of garden tasks to keep everyone busy in October.
In General
•Get your soil tested and add amendments as needed.
•Amend your soil with a dressing of compost
•Turn your compost pile.
•Use your garden debris and leaves to start a compost pile.
•Plant trees and shrubs. Be sure to keep them well-watered, even through the winter (Snow permitting).
•Make sure all vacationing houseplants are brought back inside.
•Continue planting garlic.
•Plant cool season annuals. Covering mums and asters on nights when a frost is expected, will lengthen their blooming.
•Clear away dead foliage.
•Dry and save seed.
•Take cuttings of tender perennials.
•Harvest and dry or freeze herbs for winter use.
•Remove green tomatoes from the plants. Either ripen in a brown paper bag or lift the entire plant and hang upside down in a warm spot, to ripen.
•Harvest winter squash once the vines die back, but definately before a hard freeze.
•Continue harvesting fall crops like beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kale and leeks.
•Clean and put away empty containers and garden ornaments.
•Clean and sharpen gardening tools.
•Clean bird feeders.
•Think about a de-icer for the birdbath. If you're in an area that freezes and you don't have a de-icer, turn your birdbath over to keep it from cracking.
•Enjoy the season. Show off your harvest with a fall display.

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