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Monthly Gardening Guide


Your Gardening To-Do List

  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs; add bone meal or bulb fertilizer (Like Bulb-tone) for best results.

  • Dig and store tender bulbs before ground freezes; after frost blackens foliage, cut back to 6" and dig up, wash off soil, let dry for two weeks, then store in boxes filled with peat moss/bark chips in a cool, dry place.

  • Move fall-blooming crocus after flowering

  • Pot paper white bulbs, starting now and every 2-3 weeks for continuous flowers.

Shrubs & Trees
  • Plant deciduous trees and shrubs (wait until spring for evergreens).

  • Keep shrubs and trees well watered through first frost to ensure they go into winter hydrated.

  • Feed with a slow-release fertilizer (like holly-tone) to boost root growth.

  • Use burlap to protect plants that are susceptible to breakage from snow.

Vegetables & Herbs
  • Plant lettuce, spinach and radishes through October 15 and protect with row covers or a cold frame.

  • Overwinter carrots, turnips and parsnips; cover with straw/leaf mulch; harvest as necessary.

  • Harvest potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash.

  • Harvest gourds after a hard frost.

  • Sow cover crops of oats, winter rye and wheat through October 15 to conserve soil nutrients and add organic matter when tilled in spring.

  • Bring herbs indoors and place in a sunny window or under cool white fluorescent lights.

  • Create new beds: cut grass low, cover with newspaper, then layers of organic matter, followed by a thick layer of straw or mulch.

  • Overseed, patch, or start a new lawn through October 15.

  • Fertilize once this month.

  • Keep newly seeded lawn watered, and don't let it dry out.

Annuals & Perennials
  • Plant pansies, chrysanthemums, ornamental cabbage, and kale for cool temperature color.

  • Divide/move/plant new perennials, using a root stimulate (Espoma Bio-tone); mulch and water well.

  • Keep watering perennials until second heavy frost.

  • Trim dead or diseased stems.

  • Remove leaves from around plants (except around Joe Pye Weed, which might contain overwintering butterflies.

  • Provide food (including suet) and water for birds.

  • Leave hummingbird feeders out for stragglers and new borns.

  • Clean bird baths, feeders and nest boxes; hummingbird feeders once a week.

  • Pile leaves and trimmings in a corner of the year for winter protection for ground-dwelling birds and hibernating replies.

  • Continue to bring houseplants indoors, repotting as necessary.

  • Treat with horticultural and neem oils to control aphids, mites, mealy bugs, scale and whiteflies; check periodically for pests.

  • Check your gardenias for spider mites.

  • Reduce fertilizer for tropicals to twice a month and half the dose.

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