Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips Regions

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.

Water trees, shrubs, and evergreens until the ground freezes. Apply a layer of mulch around these plants to help reduce winter injury.

Transplant trees and rosebushes.

Finish seeding your new lawns by the middle of the month.

This is the best time to fertilize your lawn if you only do so once a year.

As long as your grass continues to grow, you can continue mowing it.

Remove weeds, debris, and dead or diseased plants, as well as plants that had disease problems this year. Insects and diseases can overwinter in these plants.

Look for slug egg masses under mulch and destroy.

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

Harvest orchard apples.

Prune everbearing raspberries.

Do not prune spring-flowering shrubs.

Plant spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips, hyacinth, and snow drops. Consider covering with chicken wire to deter animals.

Plant garlic and horseradish.

Cut perennials to the ground.

Be sure to remove any leaves from your lawn to help reduce lawn problems; shred leaves and add to compost.

Test your garden soil and make any necessary changes to improve it for next spring.

After a frost, dig up dahlias.

Buy your late winter and early spring bulbs.

Divide and replant spring-blooming perennials such as daylilies, phlox, coneflowers, and daisies.

Plant winter-hardy trees and shrubs. Plants set out now have more time to become established before spring growth.

Harvest sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and winter squash.

Remove all debris and dead plants to prevent overwintering of certain garden pests.

Prepare garden beds for more fall planting; remember to mix in plenty of organic matter.

Plant vegetable seeds such as: beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, leeks, onion, parsnips, radishes, spinach, and turnips.

Plant transplants such as: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, garlic, and lettuce.

Begin planting spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, crocus, and daffodils.

Bring in all houseplants; check for pests before bringing them in for the winter.

Continue to replant or establish cool-season lawns.

For Bermuda lawns, apply 1 inch of water per week and a light application of potassium.

Overseed established Bermuda lawns from midmonth through November for a greener winter lawn.

Resume full fertilizing of roses as weather cools.

Cut back watering for your plants as the days shorten and become cooler.

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.

Continue to harvest and store your fruit and vegetables for the winter. Dig and store potatoes in a dark location.

Ripen green tomatoes indoors or in a paper bag.

Harvest and store apples in a cool place at about 40 degrees, not on the counter.

Plant garlic. It will overwinter and be ready to harvest next summer. See our Garlic page.

Spray apple and fruit trees to prevent disease.

October is still a good time to plant trees and shrubs.

If you have empty garden spots, cover with leaves, manure, or compost. Or, plant winter cover crops such as rye grass or clover. All will enrich the soil and keep weeds away.

If you wish to convert yard space to garden beds, use newspaper or cardboard covered by mulch; by spring, all weeds will have died.

Dig up and repot herb plants to bring them inside for the winter; keep them in a sunny place.

Trim or stake your bushy perennial plants to avoid any wind damage.

Apply a layer of mulch around your roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, and berry plants for winter protection.

Protect grafted roses. Before the ground freezes, mound soil about 12 inches in and around canes, making sure graft is completely covered.

Clean up your annual flower beds. Remove any diseased plants to help prevent any insects from overwintering in your garden. Hardy or “own-root” roses don’t need special protection.

Clean up your lawn of any leaves and fallen fruit and vegetables to discourage pests and diseases from your lawn and gardens.

Save seeds from your favorite vegetable, fruit, and flower plants. Dry the seeds and store them in airtight containers in a cool and dry place over the winter.

Dig and divide rhubarb every 4 years.

Reduce the water supply for houseplants to help harden them off for winter.

Dig out geraniums if you are overwintering.

Mow your lawn a little shorter than usual to help prevent snow mold. You can apply a lawn fertilizer formulated for fall now.

Cover compost piles with plastic to keep rain from making them too soggy.

Keep watering your evergreens; this helps them to keep from drying out during the winter.

Shut off your water and drain systems. Put away your hose and equipment.

Plant seeds or transplants of cool-season vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, onions, spinach, and turnips.

Plant herbs this month. Try dill, oregano, sage, and fennel.

Set strawberry plants this month in a garden bed or container. Water well.

Try planting daffodils. Find varieties that fit your region.

Plant cool-weather annuals such as foxglove, petunia, and Shasta daisy.

If you have any tropical or subtropical container plants, move them indoors when the temperature drops to the 40s.

Divide and replant crowded perennials.

If you are planning on planting wildflower seeds, prepare the soil now. Till the soil thoroughly to a depth of 4 to 5 inches. Prepare a seed mixture of many different kinds.

Continue planting any trees and shrubs. They will have time to establish themselves before the spring.

Apply a layer of mulch around your newly planted shrubs and trees.

Continue mowing and watering your lawn until it stops growing. Avoid fertilizing the lawn, as this could encourage tender growth that might be damaged during the winter.

Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn to control winter weeds. Apply when nighttime temperatures are 55 to 60 degrees for 4 to 5 days.

If your lawn is losing color, try overseeding with annual ryegrass when temperatures are in the low 70s.

Clean up your flower beds after the first killing frost; remove any dead plants.