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October Garden To-Do List

By BlueKey Support
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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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