Gardening Tips for October for Mason City, IA

Midwest Region

  • 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.