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Fall Gardening Chores: October

Sedum; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/ Counse
Sedum; photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Counse

Planning:

  • Assess areas in the garden that need additional planting
  • Continue to use garden notes and photographs to plan future plantings
  • Prepare landscape sketches for next growing season

Chores and Maintenance:

  • If it is dry, continue to thoroughly water trees, shrubs, planting beds and lawn areas, especially evergreens
  • Continue to weed, weed, weed
  • Stake chrysanthemums, water and fertilize
  • Lift and store tender bulbs, i.e. cannas, dahlias and gladiolus, after first frost
  • Core aerate to reduce lawn thatch
  • Mow lawns to 1 1/2" height
  • Keep bird feeders filled
Stake chrysanthemums, water and fertilize
Stake chrysanthemums, water and fertilize

Planting:

  • Complete planting and transplanting broad-leaved and needle-leaved evergreens before October 15th and water thoroughly 
  • Plant and transplant deciduous trees and shrubs after leaf fall between October 15th and December 1st
  • Plant spinach and garlic
  • Plant ornamental cabbage and kale
  • Complete lifting and dividing iris, lily-of-the-valley and daylilies
  • Pot up parsley, chives and rosemary to grow indoors
  • Plant bare-root roses
  • Continue to plant spring-flowering bulbs; begin planting tulips before month's end
  • Pot up amaryllis, tulips and other prepared bulbs and store in a cool, dark place until ready to force
Complete lifting and dividing irises in October
Complete lifting and dividing irises in October

Pruning and Fertilizing:

  • Complete pruning of rambling roses
  • Prune late-flowering trees and shrubs once dormant
  • Fertilize deciduous and evergreen shrubs
  • Fertilize lawn with 3-1-2 plant food
Complete pruning of Rambling roses; Rosa 'Veilchenblau' photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Leonora "Ellie" Enking
Complete pruning of rambling roses; Rosa 'Veilchenblau' photo courtesy of Flickr cc/Leonora "Ellie" Enking

Indoors

  • Bring in house plants before frost
  • Hold off on fertilizing houseplants; resume in March

 

*These gardening tips are applicable for an average year in the southeastern New York region: USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6a and 6b, which include New York City, Northern New Jersey, Rockland County, Westchester County, Southern Connecticut, and parts of Long Island. Plant hardiness zones refer to geographic areas where the growing season of plants is determined by the time of killing frosts in the spring and fall. Even within zones, climatic factors such as altitude, proximity to water, wind exposure, winter sun exposure and snow cover contribute to the existence of different "microclimates" and can influence plant adaptability.

 

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