List of things for doing in my garden

Ask Kitty

Dear Kitty,

I have the September list of things for doing in my garden — is there a new list of chores for October? Or do I carry on with the same things to do?


Loving the Garden Directions


Dear Loving,

I am so glad you are enjoying the chores in your garden as autumn approaches. While some things are continual there are some things to add for October!

We need not lament the passing of garden season just yet, it’s time to put in icicle pansies to replace any annuals that have finished for the year. These little beauties will bloom till covered with snow! But if possible you should cover them with mulch late in the fall. They should pop back up in the spring.

October is garlic planting time. Put your cloves in nice soil with lots of compost. They should be about a hand width apart and 3-4 inches deep. Mulch the garlic cloves with about 4 inches of leaves. Over your garlic cloves is a good place to put the leaves that are starting to fall off the trees now. Planting early in October will provide you with garlic ready to harvest in July. A second planting late in the month will give you a second later harvest.

If you grow roses now is the time to protect their roots. A good triple mix hilled up around the base of the plant about a foot deep will protect them through the winter.

If you want to have tulips and crocuses in the spring, it’s time to plant them about mid-October. Beware the wily squirrels! They will watch for the telltale signs of bulb planting and dig them up for their own winter storage. To avoid helping the squirrels, after planting your bulbs flood the ground where the bulbs are and cover with leaves and branches. Clean the area up in the spring and you will have won the squirrel vs. bulbs game.

As the plants in your garden finish for the season remove them until your garden is finally done and is clear except for perennials.

Autumn is lovely and while it is not the season of joyous planting and seeing the seeds sprout, the beauty of your garden resting and waiting for you until next year has a beauty and charm all its own.

Happy October, Kitty

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