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October Garden To-Do List

By BlueKey Support

Here is our comprehensive garden task list for gardens in the greater DC metro region for September courtesy of Washington Gardener Magazine. Your additions to this list are most welcome:

  • Cover pond with netting to keep out fallen leaves and debris.
  • Harvest sweet potatoes.
  • Plant garlic.
  • Force the buds on Christmas Cactus by placing in a cool (55-60 degree) room and 13 hours of darkness.
  • Apply deer deterrent spray.
  • Prevent the spread of disease by cleaning up all infected plants and disposing of them in the trash — not your compost pile.
  • Plant cover crops in your vegetable gardens and annual beds (i.e. rye, clover, hairy vetch, winter peas).
  • Set-up a cold frame, then plant lettuces, radishes, and carrots from seed.
  • If you have a water garden, clean out the annual plants and compost them. Cut back the submerged hardy plants and group them to the deepest pond section.
  • Leave seedheads on black-eyed susans, echinacea, goldenrod, sunflowers, and thistles for the birds to enjoy over the winter.
  • Check for bagworms, pick off, bag, and dispose of them.
  • Dig up and store potatoes in a cool, dark spot.
  • Continue to divide and transplant perennials.
  • Rake leaves and gather in compost piles.
  • Pick apples at a local pick-your-own farm or visit a local farmer’s market.
  • Visit your local Meadows Farms pumpkin patch
  • Cut garden herbs and hang to dry in cool, dry place indoors. Learn more…
  • Start feeding birds to get them in the habit for this winter.
  • Attend a local garden club meeting.
  • Mulch strawberry beds for winter.
  • Turn your compost pile weekly and don’t let it dry out. Work compost into your planting beds.
  • Plant evergreens for winter interest.
  • Weed.
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Collect dried flowers and grasses for an indoor vase.
  • Clean, sharpen, and store your garden tools.
  • Lightly fertilize indoor plants.
  • Pot up Paper Whites and Amaryllis for holiday blooming.
  • Check that all vines are securely tied for winter’s cold winds.
  • Collect plant seeds for next year’s planting and for trading. Carefully label them & store in a dry location.
  • Pull out spent summer annuals.
  • Plant mums and fall season annuals. Click here fpr some great container garden ideas for fall.
  • Water evergreens and new plantings to keep them hydrated this winter.
  • Fertilize your lawn and re-seed if needed.
  • Dig up bulbs from your Gladiolus, cut off foliage, dry for a week, and then store for the winter.
  • Transplant trees and shrubs.
  • Keep an eye out for the first frost date and insulate plants as needed. In Zone 6, it is expected between October 17-
  • November 5 and in Zone 7 it is predicted between October 22- November 15

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