Gardening Tips for October for Longview, WA

Northwest Region

  • 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 black 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.