Garden tips for October
By Ray Ridlen
--You can continue to replant or establish cool-season lawns like fescue.
--The mowing height for fescue should be lowered to approximately 2 1/2 inches for fall and winter cutting.
--Broadleaf weeds like dandelions can be easily controlled during October (HLA-6421 and HLA-6601).
--Mow and neatly edge warm-season lawns before killing frost.
--Plant cool-season annuals like pansies, ornamental cabbage or kale, snapdragons and dusty miller when temperatures begin to cool.
--Begin planting spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, hyacinths, crocus and daffodils.
--Good companion plants for bulbs are ground covers such as ajuga, vinca, English ivy, alyssum, moneywort, thrift, phlox, oxalis and leadwort.
--Peonies, daylilies, and other spring-flowering perennials should be divided or planted now.
--Dig and store tender perennials like cannas, dahlias, and caladiums in a cool, dry location.
--Purchase trees from nurseries and garden centers at this time to select the fall color you prefer.
--Many perennials can be planted at this time and the selection is quite nice.
--Plant fall mums and asters and keep them watered during dry conditions. Don't crowd since they take a couple of years to reach maturity.
--Plant container-grown trees and shrubs this month.
--Check and treat houseplants for insect pests before bringing them indoors and re-pot rootbound plants.
Fruits and vegetables
--Dig sweet potatoes and harvest pumpkins and winter squash.
--Remove green fruit from tomato plants when frost threatens.
--Harvest Oriental persimmons and pawpaws as they begin to change color.
--There is still time to plant radishes and mustard in the fall garden.
--Use a cold frame device to plant spinach, lettuce and various other cool-season crops for production most of the winter.
--Plant cool-season cover crops like Austrian winter peas, wheat, clover, and rye in otherwise fallow garden plots.
--Remove all debris from the garden to prevent overwintering of various garden pests.
--Start new planting bed preparations now with plenty of organic matter.
--Take tropical water garden plants indoors when water temperatures near 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
--Close the water garden for the winter by placing hardy plants in the deeper areas of the pool. Stop feeding the fish.
--Cover water gardens with bird netting to catch dropping leaves during the winter months.