October Garden Chores – Prune, Feed, Dig, Divide and Conquer

Here are some of the garden chores you may want to tackle in your yard this month:

October 5-12

Watch for aphids on your chrysanthemums. Ask a nursery professional for advice on the best non-toxic control.

Thin camellia buds now so you have bigger and better blooms later. Most camellias set too many buds. Leave no more than one bud on a tip.

Give your garden one last feeding of an all-purpose plant fertilizer to feed it through the winter.

Look for cool season color that can be planted now: delphiniums, primroses and columbine.

Keeping up with the seasons in your garden can sometimes be tricky. When do you plant for Spring? When do you harvest your vegetables? How do you keep those critters out of your garden? Learn to improve your green thumb with the answers to those and much more.

October 13-19

Tend to roses, but do not prune them now. This is a good time to remove dead wood, twiggy growth and leaves with spots or mildew.

To enjoy camellia blooms in the garden for a longer period of time, plant some sasanqua camellias along with the japonicas which bloom later.

Give camellias and azaleas a light feeding to develop their blooms.

As leaves start to fall, keep them raked off the lawn and out of flower beds. Decaying leaves are a haven for all sorts of pests and diseases.

For spring color, plant bulbs this fall: anemones, ranunculus, daffodils and more — that you will find at your local nursery.

If you need ground cover, plant it soon. This will help the root system become established before spring arrives and growth accelerates.

Plant snapdragons for a bounty of color in the winter garden.

Snails and slugs will return with cooler weather. Set out bait.

October 20-26

Plant bulbs in a variety of containers such as as clay pots, bushel baskets, half wine barrels or containers to create splashes of color throughout the garden next spring.

Don’t let dahlia bulbs stay in the ground. Lift them when their tops have dried.

Stop feeding roses now because they are heading into their dormant period.

To prevent the spread of spores that cause peach leaf curl, pick up and remove all rotting fruit and decaying leaves under peach and nectarine trees. Bag and remove this from the garden.

Once the soil cools, plant daffodils every two to three weeks rather than all at once. This helps prolong the bloom period next spring.

Dig up and divide daylilies, agapanthus and Shasta daisies.

October 27-Nov. 2

Get rhododendrons and azaleas ready for winter by mulching heavily around their base. Two to three inches of organic compost should do the job.

Be certain the stalks on your dahlia plants are completely dry before you start lifting tubers out to store them in a dry place this winter.

Do some backyard cleanup work. Remove weeds, spent annuals and vegetables. When you clean, you reduce hiding places for earwigs, slugs and snails. Store pots and empty flats in a shed or off the ground.