October brings cooler breezes and falling temperatures, at least in hardiness zones 3 to 5. While gardens in the winter months usually see little to no activity, there are a few things you can do to wrap up before the first snowfall hits. As we count down the days, here’s a quick checklist to keep you on track:
PlantCatalyst® October Checklist
- Finish harvesting beans and peas. Cut away the plant while leaving the roots in the soil to fix nitrogen released into the soil.
- Harvest squash and pumpkins before the first frost.
- Move tomatoes and peppers indoors to allow final ripening.
- Cover asparagus and rhubarb beds with a mulch, manure, or compost.
- Now is the time to plant autumn garlic bulbs and onion sets.
- Dig and store potatoes in dark, moderate humidity environments.
- Harvest any last root crops, or mulch heavily.
- As always, continue to pull weeds from the soil.
- Start working manure or composted material into the soil so it’s ready by the next growing season.
- Begin moving disease-free plants inside.
- Remove all covers to allow as much light as possible to pass through.
- Make sure your greenhouse heater is working properly in case of any early frosts.
- Remove any fallen or dead plant material to keep the environment disease and pest free.
- Cold frames should be built and ready for use. They’re a great way to prolong the growing season.
- Configure greenhouse watering systems to use 2 ounces of PlantCatalyst® solution for every 50 gallons of water for best results.
- Be active in raking fallen leaves off your lawn. They can kill grass if not managed properly. They’re also great for composting.
- Aerate your lawn by poking small holes in the dirt.
- One final cut should be made before the month is over. Your lawn can be left alone for the winter afterwards.
- Collect and store flower bulbs and geraniums.
- Prune roses to 10-12 inches. Cover with leaves or straw to insulate from winter temperatures.
- Plant daffodil bulbs, tulip bulbs and allium bulbs for springtime blooming.
- Harvest any apples before the end of the month.
- Clear ponds of any debris. Consider putting a net over the top to prevent material from falling in.
- Harvest sunflower heads – can be used as birdseed!
- Clean, sharpen, and oil tools before storing them for the winter.
- Give conifer hedges a last trim for the winter sets in.
Feel free to print this out for your own use! Keep in mind that this checklist is best suited for hardiness zones in the 3 to 5 range – these items might not be applicable if you live in warmer or cooler regions. Do you have any other items on your last minute to-do list? Go ahead and share your own checklist with us over on our Facebook page.