From the Desk of Ed Hume: October Garden Projects
While out working in the garden this past weekend, I noticed a bunch of stuff that needs to be done to get the garden ready for the fall and winter months ahead.
After the light rain some of the flowers of dahlias, mums, and other perennials and annuals have started to look pretty sad. Right now would be a good time to cut them and add them to the compost pile or recycle them. Likewise, some leaves of both flowers and vegetables are covered with mildew (the white powdery residue), and in many cases these effected leaves should be cut too.
You’re probably tired of me mentioning this, but the fall slugs are out in full force, so steps should be taken to eliminate them. Remember this is also the time of the year when they lay their fall eggs. The eggs are in clusters of up to fifty or more, and each egg is about the size of a b.b. You will often find them in moist areas or along the edge of the lawn. By eliminating them now, you will greatly reduce the number of slugs to be found in next year’s garden.
This is the month when you will want to begin winterizing dahlias, glads, geraniums, fuchsias, and any of the other tender bulbs or annuals. For more information on this topic, please refer to the library section of our web site www.humeseeds.com.
If you put any houseplants outside this summer, they should have been brought back indoors in late August or early September. Likewise, Christmas cactus and poinsettias should be indoors, or you are apt to lose them.
After just a little moisture (rain), the weeds will once again be popping up everywhere. Take a little time to grub them out, before they set flowers and go to seed again.
If your rose bushes are getting a bit ragged and not flowering, they can be cut back to about waist height. This is about the height most rose professionals cut back a rose bush for their fall pruning.
Right now is a good time to plant new shrubs and trees into the garden. However, I would wait until late October or November to transplant established garden shrubs or trees.
When you think of bulbs, think spring! This is the time of the year for planting out the bulbs of the spring flowering daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinths, etc. As a rule these bulbs are planted three times deeper then the greatest diameter of the bulb. In other words, if the bulb is 2 inches in size, plant it 6 inches deep.
This is also a great time for fertilizing the lawn. Fall and winter-feeding stimulate good root development, resulting in a stronger root system and healthier turf. Fall is also a wonderful time for over-seeding the lawn with new grass seed. Reseeding helps to fill-in any bare spots and makes the turf thicker.
For more information on any of these topics log-on to www.humeseed.com.
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