October Gardening Chores


Let’s first recap the month of September. The first part of September was hot and dry. I think we set new high temperatures for a few days. Coupled with this heatwave was the fact that we were on the dry side for the month. When fall officially arrived on the 23rd, we finally got some much-needed soaking rain to go along with the “fall-like” cooler temperatures. Until the 23rd, we were in a deficit of over an inch of rain for September. I’m not sure who to thank more—the start of our State Fair or Mother Nature for Ophelia, which gave us some much-needed rainfall on our first official day of the fall season. Now, on to October!


  1. Pansies: October is a great time to plant the winter hardy pansies. Some of you hesitate to pull up the summer annuals since they are still growing and flowering. But, the sooner you plant pansies, the more established and developed they will be before winter.
  2. Lawn Care: October can be a challenging month for lawn care. We need to keep the new seed wet on a daily basis until it has grown and been mowed once. After this time, you want to cut back on the daily watering and water more deeply two or three times a week. Deep watering will help the new turf roots to grow deeper into the ground. In addition to watering, October is when you want to apply a second application of fertilizer to your lawn.
  3. Remember: Tree leaves are falling. Do not let the leaves get thick on the lawn and choke out the sunlight that your turf will need.
  4. Grass Cycling: Let’ stop bagging up the grass clippings. Grass clippings are good for our turf because they return nitrogen to the lawn.
  5. Houseplants: Get serious about prepping your houseplants to come back inside for the colder winter months. Remember—houseplants do not like temperatures below 50 degrees.
  6. Bulb Planting: We have a great selection of bulbs right now. Now is a great time to be planting these spring-blooming bulbs. But hold off on planting tulip bulbs until closer to Thanksgiving, when our soil temperature is much cooler than it is now. Don’t forget that you can plant bulbs in containers.
  7. Pine Needles: Like our shade trees shedding their leaves, so are our pine trees shedding needles. These pine needles (pine tags) are free mulch from Mother Nature. Pine needles can be evenly spread around and under shrubs and trees.


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