October Garden Chores For 2012
October in 2012 is beautiful in Ohio, and this month has brought much needed rain to the area. The ground and temperatures are still fine for planting bulbs, so hurry to the stores and get your selections. If you have Grape hyacinths (Muscari spp.) you will notice they are putting up fall growth. That is normal and necessary. I lifted some when weeding and went ahead and put them in some new places when we recently straightened our walkway.
Getting rid of the fallen leaves is probably the main task if you live in Ohio, or environs of this type: lots of deciduous trees and cold winters. Many of my trees are Silver maples and they seem to be lazy about losing their leaves… here a little there a little. What can we do with fallen autumn leaves?
- Put leaves in the compost pile
- Let leaves rot in bags stored in an out of the way place
- Mulch lesser amounts with the mower, leave to decay on their own
- Live in a rural area? burn them
I have an ongoing tug-of-war of the wills with my family who are always in favor of burning, while I want the leaves to go into my compost pile. They often win… they are sneaky. I advocate composting leaves if they are disease free. They do take a little more time because they sometimes get soggy and mat together- which is why I don’t just put them on the vegetable garden anymore.
Otober is one of the best months for planting trees. The trees have gone into dormancy once their leaves turn color and drop. That is a good time to plant them, and they will get the fall rains to help them settle in.
You can lift bulbs and replant if desired, this month.
Crocus, Tulip, Daffodil, Chionodoxia
More on Perennial tulip varieties (named Darwins and other classes), and Specie tulips.
- Early October is still fine for perennial planting, although you are cutting it close in the North
- The same goes for planting bulbs, which benefit from being planted early rather than later in the fall. go ahead and get them planted
- A great month to plant trees!
- Apple harvest time
- Be sure to bring inside your frost tender plants. Frost can appear any time in October.
October posts from the blog
Apple posts for October, from the blog:
Photo credit: farenhite
Rediscover Heirloom Apples
- Buy your bulbs
- Plant your bulbs
- Dig new beds for the next growing season- the earth is mellow.
- Plant some trees and shrubs
- Ready your tools and power equipment for storage
- Gather and compost tree leaves
- Get rid of weeds
Chrysanthemums are blooming this month.
New perennials can be still be planted. You may want to mulch them for winter protection, and to prevent heaving in the frosts. Be aware that you risk losing them to winters cold when planting late.
Mulch some of your landscape beds. Those with bulbs or roses, I would wait until later in the season, after the ground has frozen, but it is more comfortable to get ht ejob done now.
Root cuttings of plants you wish to overwinter. Geraniums, special types of impatiens, many others…
What is blooming now? Asters until frosts cut them down, goldenrod still shine with golden locks. Showy sedums are one of the highlights of the October garden and their seedheads will remain all winter. Late foraging bees love the showy Sedum. My Nepeta mussinii is going strong with reblooming that is improved by the cooler weather. Until the hard frosts come, the hardier annuals seem to give their last hurrah.
Pumpkins, of course.
Time to start cleaning the veggie garden beds for the next season.
Some cold tolerant plants such as chard and kale will continue to grow and produce in this month.
If they show some browning, especially on their inner parts, don’t worry, it is most likely their normal shedding.
Water well in October to prepare for winter, as I reminded you in September’s tips. October is very similar in tasks, although getting ready for winter is more urgent.
Clean your tools and store at the end of the month.
For more tips for this month:
Autumn Garden TasksAutumn Garden TipsOctober
Important: Keep Up with the Weeding
Any weeds done away with are less seeds for next year. Be sure to get rid of the burdock- these have been the bane for my dog’s fur this year. We are going to be kept busy removing burs matted into his long white fur.
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