Saturday, October 8, 2011

FAQ: What garden tasks should I do in October?

Among the most frequently asked questions, "When is the best time to...", is near the top of the list. Here are a few gardening tasks for October organized by region.

Northeast States: Frost is possible. Plant and transplant broadleaf and evergreen trees and shrubs, perennials and ground covers. Divide perennials and transplant. Dig tender bulbs to protect over winter. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Pot up spring bulbs for forcing. Prune shrubs that bloomed in late summer. Take hardwood cuttings to root over winter. Fertilize trees and shrubs after they become dormant. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees until ground freezes. Continue garden cleanup. Compost debris. Feed house plants.

Mid-Atlantic States: Frost is possible. Plant and transplant evergreen and broadleaf shrubs and trees, perennials and ground covers. Divide perennials and transplant. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Sow winter annuals, vegetables. Plant winter vegetable sets. Pot up spring bulbs for forcing. Prune shrubs that bloomed in late summer. Feed house plants. Take hardwood cuttings to root over winter. Fertilize trees and shrubs when they become dormant. Continue fall cleanup. Compost debris. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees until ground freezes.

Mid-South States: Early frost is possible. Plant and transplant shrubs and trees, perennials and ground covers. Divide perennials and transplant. Plant container grown mums. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Set out cool season vegetables. Prune shrubs that bloomed in late summer.Take hardwood cuttings for propagation. Continue fall cleanup.  Compost debris. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees.  Feed house plants. Continue rose care. Continue lawn care. Watch for signs of brown patch in lawn and apply fungicide if necessary.

Lower South and Gulf States: Plant winter-blooming annuals. Plant or transplant trees, shrubs, ground covers, roses, spring and summer blooming perennials, spring blooming bulbs. Lightly prune trees and shrubs, but do not prune spring-blooming trees and shrubs. Remove or prune trees and branches damaged by storms. Take hardwood cuttings for propagation. Continue lawn maintenance. Root prune trees and shrubs that you might wish to move next spring. Order bulbs for fall planting, if you haven't already. Continue to irrigate shrubs and trees. Continue rose care. Continue lawn care or begin lawn renovation. Watch for signs of brown patch in lawn and apply fungicide if necessary. Feed house plants.

Plains and Rocky Mountain States: Early frost is possible. Plant and transplant trees and shrubs, perennials, ground covers. Sow cool-season vegetable seeds for fall crop. Divide perennials. Prune trees and shrubs that bloomed in summer. Continue garden cleanup. Add debris to compost pile. Continue lawn maintenance. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Dig and store tender bulbs. Take hardwood cuttings for propagation. Remove dead wood in trees and shrubs. Feed house plants.

Pacific Southwest and Desert States: Early frost is possible. Plant and transplant trees and shrubs, perennials and ground covers. Continue fall planting, sow cool-season annuals and vegetables. Divide perennials and deadhead perennials. Prune trees and shrubs that bloomed in summer. Clean up garden and add debris to compost pile. Continue lawn maintenance. Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Dig and store tender bulbs. Fertilize trees and shrubs when dormant. Apply pre-emergent herbicide to lawns. Renovate lawn, if necessary. Feed house plants.

Pacific Northwest States: Frost is possible. Plant and transplant broadleaf and evergreen trees and shrubs, perennials and ground covers. Divide perennials and transplant.  Plant spring-flowering bulbs. Pot up spring-flowering bulbs for forcing. Sow cold-hardy greens. Prune shrubs and trees that bloomed in late summer. Take hardwood cuttings for propagation. Remove dead wood in trees and shrubs. Continue fall cleanup. Compost debris. Fertilize trees and shrubs when dormant. Feed house plants.

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