Annuals and Perennials
Spring blooming bulbs are in stock. Now is the time to plant iris, tulips, crocus, daffodils and many other spring blooming bulbs for glorious spring color.
There are lots of perennials with interest now including anemone, chrysanthemums, perennial asters and ornamental grasses. Add a touch of fall to your home and landscape with hardy mums, ornamental cabbage and kale and pansies.
Now is the time to transplant peonies or divide them if you wish to multiply your plants.
Now is the time to dig up gladiolus. Remove the tops and let them dry for two weeks. Dust them with Sulfur. Store in dry peat moss or vermiculite at room temperature. See our bulletin on “Wintering Over Summer Bulbs”.
Fruits and Vegetables
Pick the largest, almost ripe green tomatoes, just before a frost. Put them in a brown paper bag with some apples and they will ripen as sweet as if on the vine.
Remove all old vines of beans, squash, etc. to the compost pile and then spade or till the garden. Plant winter rye and/or red clover in any bare, exposed ground. This will help prevent erosion, conserve nutrients and add organic material to the soil.
You can still plant garlic and onions for harvest next year.
Decorate your home with pumpkins, cornstalks and gourds for Halloween and fall.
Bring your houseplants back indoors before the cool weather hits. Spray them first with one of the following products: Bayer Rose & Flower Insect Killer, Bonide Eight or Neem oil to control aphids, mites and other insects that may be on the plants.
Fertilize your houseplants with Jack’s Classic or Osmocote through November, then slow down your feeding schedule until February.
October is a great time to lime, seed and fertilize your lawn. You can seed a new lawn in early October or reseed (overseed) an established lawn this month to make it thicker and healthier.
Now is also a good time to control weeds growing in the lawn, however you cannot weed kill and seed the same day. You will need to wait until any new seed has germinated and been mowed at least twice before applying a weed killer.
Aerate and/or dethatch your lawn if the thatch is more than ½ inch thick. Do this prior to seeding. Water the soil a day or two before you plan to aerate or rototill (for a total renovation) or start your project a day or two after a good rain.
If you are seeding or sodding the lawn, use Merrifield Select 14-18-14. It is high in phosphorus, which aids in seedling germination and encourages strong root development. If you use Merrifield Select 14-18-14 now, follow-up with Merrifield Premium 24-0-12 in November or December.
Prevent winter annual weeds from germinating in the lawn by applying a weed preventer such as Gallery in early October. Avoid this if you plan to seed now. You will have to wait 60 days to seed, which means you would probably need to wait until spring to seed the lawn.
Trees and Shrubs
Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, grass seed and sod. Plants that are planted in the fall enjoy cooler temperatures and ideal growing conditions that allow roots ample time to grow into the surrounding soil.
Container grown trees will often have roots growing in a circular pattern. You can use your fingers or hand cultivator to pull these roots out into an outward direction when planting into the ground to promote their establishment into the surrounding soil.
Trees that provide color in the month of October include burning bush, camellia, viburnum, crape myrtles, October Glory maple, red sunset maple, nandina, pyracantha, sweet gum and Virginia creeper.
Pine trees, false cypress, arborvitae and other evergreens shed their interior needles and branchlets in October. This is a normal part of their growth cycle – no need to be alarmed!
Do not prune azaleas, rhododendrons and other spring flowering shrubs. They have already set their buds for next year’s blooms and pruning will damage their flower buds.