OCTOBER GARDENING THOUGHTS!

IN THE GARDEN

LAWN CARE

Although the days are getting shorter and the temperatures cooler, you can still reseed your lawn the first two weeks in October if you didn't get to it in September. Keep falling leaves from these areas for best results. See August In Your Garden for a list of things to consider when choosing seed. Keep newly seeded areas moist at all times. Once the grass starts to grow, water less often, but longer, about a half an hour twice a week, or an hour once a week.

AROUND THE GARDEN


Early October is still a great time for planting trees, shrubs and perennials. Use a good organic mixture in the soil to reduce transplant shock and help plants develop good root systems before winter sets in.

You can still plant trees, shrubs, or perennials this fall. It is getting late, so if you plant make sure you water an inch per week.

Even if you don't feel like planting this fall, now's a great time to prepare planting beds for next spring. Turn over the soil and dig in material to break up the clay and enrich the soil (such as your own compost, 'Bumper Crop', or top soil). Work the soil on a day when it's not too wet or dry. Working the soil when it's too wet can make bad soil worse! And working it when it's too dry is much harder work. Preparing your beds now will make planting that much easier next spring.

To keep pansies blooming pinch off spent blooms; continue to apply fertilizer up until frost. If you haven't planted pansies yet, there's still time - they're your best bet for color this fall. They'll survive several frosts, and are likely to come back next spring for a second display.

After the first killing frost, dig bulbs and tubers of tender plants like Canna and Dahlia, cut back blackened leaves and stems of perennials, pull annuals and neaten the garden for winter. Compost healthy plants, but throw away any diseased and insect - infested leaves and plants. If any of your plants had leaf spot, powdery mildew or other fungal diseases, be especially careful to rake up the leaves and throw them away.

It's time to start planting bulbs of daffodils, tulips, and other spring flowers. Most bulbs need at least a half day of sun, but don't despair if your yard is shaded by deciduous trees. Early spring bulbs do most of their growing before the trees leaf out, so areas that are shady most of the spring and summer may be fine for spring-flowering bulbs. Bulbs like well drained soil, like most other plants, so work 'Bumper Crop', or compost into heavy soils to break them up.

If you do nothing else, plant some crocuses, glory in the snow (chionodoxia) or snowdrops (galanthus) where you can see them easily. They come up just when you despair of winter ever being over.

As a rule of thumb, plant bulbs about 3 times as deep as their height (i.e., plant 2" bulb 6 inches deep). Fertilize with Holland Bulb Booster or Bulb Tone when you plant, then every year at around this time. I use dried blood to stop chipmunks and squirrels, seems to work?

If you have a problem with squirrels digging up your bulbs, try one or more of these strategies: plant bulbs a couple of inches deeper than the standard recommendation lay chicken wire or a similar wire barrier over the bulbs on the top of the soil or pot.

IN THE HOUSE


If you haven't brought your houseplants and tropicals in for the winter yet, do it soon. Otherwise, you may end up in a mad dash to move them when frost is suddenly in the forecast. Or worse, an unpredicted frost could sneak up and kill them while you sleep.

For more tips and information go to the Buckeye Yard and Garden Newletter at:

Buckeye Yard and Garden Newletter



Good Luck and Good Gardening To You!

Stu Lewis, Web Master
Hilliard Area Garden Club