Gardening Tips for the Northeast Region for October

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Brush your root crops clean of any soil and store in a cool, dark place. Never refrigerate potatoes and apples together; the apples give off ethylene gas, which will spoil the potatoes. Clipping the tops of parsnips, carrots, beets, and turnips will keep them fresher longer.

Put some parsley plants in a box and place the box in a light cellar or shed.

Dig up and store dahlias, gladioli, and other tender plants after the foliage is killed by a frost. Store over the winter.

Plant hardy spring-flowering bulbs such as tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs and crocus corms. Don't be too quick to cover them with mulch or it may attract animals. Wait until the ground freezes.

Paint any garden structures that need it. Repair garden fences.

Be sure to remove any leaves from your lawn to help reduce lawn problems; use as mulch for plants; shred leaves and add to compost.

Clean up your lawn and garden. Remove any dead or diseased plants, leaves, and twigs; a clean garden means fewer diseases next spring.

Harvest any remaining vegetables sensitive to frost, including winter squash, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.

Look for slug egg masses under mulch and destroy.

Do not prune spring-flowering shrubs.

If your peony isn't blooming, or it is too large or misplaced, consider moving it now.

Prune everbearing raspberries.

Transplant trees, shrubs, and rosebushes.

Plant garlic now for harvesting next summer.

Begin preparing tools for storage by cleaning them once you're finished with them.

Place chicken wire on the ground over newly planted bulbs to deter animals from digging.

Plant snowdrop, hyacinth, and star of Bethlehem bulbs.

Did you test your soil? If you need to raise or lower the pH of your soil, add the required amendments, such as sulfur or lime, this fall because they take some time to work.

Harvest brussels sprouts when ready to eat; they'll sweeten through the cold snaps.

Cut perennials 3 to 4 inches from the ground once the flower stalks have died and turned brown.

Leave seed heads on asters, sunflowers, and cosmos for birds to eat over the winter.

Remember to edge your garden borders if you have not already done so.