Friday, October 8, 2010

Garden in October (Part I)

GUEST POST by Jennifer Iseli

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

• Watch for frost warning and cover tender plants.

• Make sure all houseplants (or any tender plant you want to over winter) are brought back inside. Check for pests so that you don’t have any uninvited room mates!

• Dig and store tender bulbs like: dahlias, caladiums, cannas and tuberous begonias.

• Mow warm season grasses low and overseed with Rye (if wanted).

• Now is a good time to have your soil tested. If you wait too long, the ground will be hard (frozen) and you may not get the results of your test in time to add amendments or fertilizers before you plant your garden in the spring.

• Turn your compost pile. If you haven’t started one yet, use any old grass clippings, shrub trimmings, old annuals, and any other (disease free) debris to start one!

• Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. It gives them time to recover from transplant shock and start to establish their root systems while the heat and drought aren’t as stressful. You can continue planting as long as the plants are used to outdoor conditions and the ground is not frozen.

• It’s time to plant cool season annuals such as pansies, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and ornamental kale. If you cover mums and asters on nights when a frost is expected, they will bloom longer.

• Apply pre-emerge herbicide to control winter annual weeds.

• Collect any remaining seed that you may want for next year. Dry and save them in a cool, dark place.

• Consider planting a cover crop in your vegetable garden.

• Dig all sweet potatoes before the first frost.

• Wait for a hard frost before harvesting Brussels sprouts.

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