October Checklist

  • Consider dwarf autumn asters to brighten the flower garden.
  • Autumn is a good time to apply lime to the lawn and garden if a soil test recommends it.
  • Harvest gourds and squashes when they mature and before they are exposed to frost.
  • Weed and edge your gardens.
  • Plant tulip, daffodil and hyacinth bulbs and crocus corms.
  • Plant garlic, rhubarb and shallots.
  • Plant hardy spring-blooming perennials and biennials in the garden early in the month.
  • Store leftover flower and vegetable seeds in a cool, dry place.
  • Provide food and water for the birds.
  • Repair garden fences, trellises and accessories.
  • Call a certified arborist for a serious tree problem.
  • Continue to mow the lawn at a height of 2-1/2 to 3 inches until the grass stops growing.
  • Start a wish list of plants and tools for next year’s gardening season.
  • Spread humus (composted organic matter) two inches deep and work it into your garden soil.
  • Note where autumn color is needed in the landscape and plan to add an appropriate plant next year.
  • Clean and store lawn furniture.
  • Rake fallen leaves to prevent them from smothering the lawn.
  • Form a compost pile of garden debris.
  • Make leaf mould
  • Wait until the ground freezes to apply mulch around perennials.
  • Plant and transplant deciduous trees and shrubs after leaf fall.
  • Prune trees and shrubs after they go dormant.
  • Keep mulch away from the trunks of trees and shrubs.
  • Store garden stakes, hoses and tools before winter sets in.
  • Remove dead chrysanthemum tops from the garden.
  • Dig root crops before the ground freezes. Carrots, beets, leeks, turnips and parsnips can be harvested from the garden all winter long.
  • Be sure to harvest your tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes and other tender crops before the first frost.
  • Plant a cover crop of winter rye or hairy vetch on your vegetable garden.
  • Transplant strawberries.
  • Harvest pears before they are fully ripe.
  • Harvest apples when the stem separates from the branch with a slight pull.
  • And, enjoy this first full month of autumn!

Adapted from “Seeds of Hope… Harvest of Pride!” – Gardener’s Checklist, www.bright.net/~gardens/index.html