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October Lawn & Garden Checklist

October marks the start of fall and with it comes cooler weather, the changing of the leaves, and a period of time when nature prepares for another winter season. Help your lawn and garden prepare for the winter by completing these checklist items:

Lawn Care

  • Put down an organic fall lawn fertilizer to help the grass rebuild its root system after any summer damage and to restore nutrients in the soil.
  • Avoid mowing the grass shorter in the fall before heading into the winter season. This is a lawn care myth. Instead, continue mowing the grass only when needed, and with a sharpened mower blade.
  • Remove fallen debris and leaves as they can damage your lawn if left there too long.

Indoor Plant Care

  • Move houseplants indoors for the season.
  • Make sure houseplants still receive proper sunlight as the days get shorter and sunlight patterns change.

Tree & Shrub Maintenance

  • Thin out forsythia, lilacs, and spirea.

Fruit and Vegetable Gardening

  • After the first frost of the season, finish harvesting root vegetables.
  • Harvest the last of the herbs and freeze them for fresh herbs all winter-long.
  • For beautiful spring asparagus, side-dress with compost or organic fertilizer now. Side-dressing is done to give a more direct infusion of nutrients to the roots of the plants during a critical growth period. Side-dress asparagus by spreading compost or a 5-5-5 granular fertilizer along the trench between rows of asparagus (roughly 4 inches from the stem).
  • Plant garlic cloves, onions, and spinach seed now for an early spring harvest.

Flower & Bulb Preparation

  • Dig up summer bulbs like gladiolus, freesia, dahlias, calla lilies, and cannas, and store them for next year.
  • Divide hostas and replant them.
  • Do you have ornamental grasses or sunflowers? Leave them for wildlife habitat. Birds will appreciate the gift.
  • Clean plant pots out and add new soil mixed with Natural Alternative®’s 5-5-5 and Protilizer, to plant paperwhites for the upcoming holidays.
  • Broadcast wildflower seeds to establish a hummingbird, butterfly, and bird haven.

Maintenance & Other Items

  • Buy pumpkins early in the month for the best selection. Here’s a great article to help you with selecting the best pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns, cooking, or baking.
  • Prepare for fall displays with mums, asters, corn stalks, and hay bales. Gourds, Indian corn, and bittersweet make nice door wreaths and add touch of color.
  • Take a family outing into the woods to harvest wild bittersweet; it’s much more fun than buying it at the store.
  • Rake those leaves! Either get them with the mower, or compost them.
  • Clean up the garden and till the soil while adding in an organic fertilizer.
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Pumpkin ready to be carved for Halloween
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Dig up and store bulbs for over winter