The month opens with colored leaves and warm days, but ends with chilly winds and leafless trees for Halloween. Get out into the October garden and watch the changes!
What to See
- Trees and shrubs take a starring role, from the orange of sugar maples to the brilliant red of the burning bush.
- Grasses finish taking on their fall color; buffs, reds, and pinks lend texture and movement to the fall garden.
- Beautyberries sport amethyst-colored fruits, and the red berries on holly and winterberry are shining brightly.
What to Do
- Start planting bulbs. Although they can be planted into late fall and early winter, October is the ideal time to plant spring-flowering bulbs.
- Finish up planting perennials, shrubs, and container grown trees. October is a terrific time to divide perennials too.
- Continue routine garden maintenance such as deadheading, weeding, and very light pruning. Heavy pruning should now wait until late winter.
- Keep the lawn mower set at 3”, and mow the leaves right into the lawn or rake the chipped leaves into beds as mulch.
- Harvest your fall produce, including Brussels sprouts, pumpkins, winter squash, and the last of tomatoes.
- Plant a cover crop in the kitchen garden to replenish the soil. Red clover, winter wheat, alfalfa, and winter rye are all good choices.