October Lawn & Garden Checklist

Pumpkin ready to be carved for Halloween Dig up and store bulbs for over winter

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. If you need help determining how much to include in a compost pile, read Compost This Not That.
  • Clean up the garden and till the soil while adding in an organic fertilizer.

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Clippings from our customers

Winter is closing in fast in New Hampshire. That's ok with me, as I can't wait to go ice fishing. Hard to stay ahead of all the oak leaves coming down. The lawn looks great after the lime and the September and October applications. Can't wait to see how it looks next year. Check Out His Video

Bill J. – Bedford, NH

PROTILIZER is a great product. I first heard about it on the Paul Parent radio program. I tell everyone about it. Thanks!

Brad P, – Beverly MA

Best fertilizer I have used.

J Burnett – Lowell, MA

Lawn looks amazing

L.R. – Ashburnham, MA

We used this ice melt all winter on some difficult steps and a walk way that always ices up. I would give this product a ten star if I could.

Wayne G – Manchester, NH

I live where the soil is already high in phosphorus (the middle number) and it’s hard to find any with none locally. I buy one of these (Fall Fertilizer Application 4) each season and they are well worth the cost. My neighbors all say my yard is looking much better than under the prior homeowner.

Stacie W. – Fort Worth, TX

…The only thing better than your products are the people behind them. You [all] are the best!!

Steve D. – Merrimack, NH

We will continue to use [Protilizer & 5-5-5] with great enthusiasm. We swept the Court of Honor in every rose show where we exhibited, including the National Rose Show.

John & Cherylynn Smith, National Rose Association First Place Winner – Westminster, MD

We grow 200 varieties of hot peppers and 150 heirloom tomatoes. We used Protilizer and saw no phytophthora root disease; our crop yields were higher; we had better root development; and the plants just looked healthier than they have in years. The fact that Protilizer is organic and OMRI listed is a bonus. Thank you for your help and support throughout my trials.

James Weaver, Meadow View Farms – Kutztown, PA

I will continue to be a loyal supporter of Natural Alternative products. Your bacteria based products are unmatched in the industry.

Darryl Schultz, Bud Shultz Garden Center – Dunmore, PA

I am a vegetable and annual grower. I recently started using your Protilizer Seed & Plant Starter on my annual nursery stock. The results exceeded my expectations. My Impatiens, Petunias, Marigolds were healthy and disease free. The root development was the best I have ever seen. This year I am also trying it in my strawberry fields.

John Stoltzfus, Brandywine Produce – Honey Brook, PA

We are pleased with the results we’re getting with Protilizer on our pansy crop. We did not have any stem disease for the first time in years. Please send me another 6 jugs. We need it for our poinsettias.

Kenneth Miller, Milmont Greenhouses – Waynesboro, VA

As a grower/retailer we use Natural Alternative Protilizer and 5-5-5 plant food in our growing operations to maintain top quality plants in our retail stores. We have reduced our use of fungicides for root diseases to almost zero. During the hot summer months, our customers remark that our plants look so healthy for the middle of summer.

Jim Glick, Ken’s Gardens – Lancaster County, PA

Thank you all for your help and recommendations. I appreciate the time you spent on the phone with me to work toward a solution for my lawn. You have been a tremendous help. What terrific customer service!

J. Jackson – Columbus, Ohio

Again, I want to thank you for the awesome service you have given us this season. I very much appreciate it.

Lee Roeder, Strosniders – Bethesda, MD

The ice melt worked great! We already put some down for the storm that missed us last week, and yesterday morning when I checked the area it was covered with sleet with the exception of the areas we treated with the ice melt. [Thanks for] your quality service and the great product you provide.

Andrew C. Lee, Capitol Hill Business Improvement District – Washington, DC

We love the [Natural Alternative Ice Melt] product and have for years. We will keep pushing it!

Craig S. Co-Owner – Twins Ace Hardware, Fairfax, VA 22030

I just wanted to thank you for the great products that Natural Alternatives produces. I did cut my lawn last Saturday and got all the leaves up and early Sunday morning applied the last Winter Fertilizer. I have been so pleased with your products for the lawn and for my flower beds and tomato plants. My lawn looks like green velvet. I have two dogs and am very careful as to what products I apply to my lawn and gardens. Thank you also for the "computer reminders" that you send out. They are very helpful.

Peggy S. – Laconia, NH

Thank you and your staff SO MUCH for getting us an order of ice melt today. You've made not only our customers, but staff (who is always eager to please), very happy! It's that kind of service and attention that will have us coming back to you!

Robbie Kaplan, Ace Hardware – Washington, DC

The best stuff! I use it all the time. I used it on 15 wint o'green arborvitaes, recommended by Paul Parent. They all are thriving and huge; 4 feet to 15 feet in three years.

Tammy Schwab

We [used your] ice melt today and it worked much better than what we were using before.

Thomas Beaver, General Growth Properties – Columbia, MD