October Garden Tasks

October Garden Tasks

garden cleanup

If you listen, you can almost hear fall.  The leaves are starting to turn, and they rustle when they drift to the ground. At my house, there is the occasional “kerplunk” noise as the pecans are falling, then the clucking as the chickens run to claim the prize. I often find little piles of them waiting for me.  I gladly stomp on them so they can have the fun of pecking out the meats.  There is always plenty for everyone.  I rarely have squirrels around because of my cat. She loves to sit in the pecan tree and wait for them to appear.

This month is the clean-up or maintenance month.

  • Time to clean out the dead plants, rake leaves, and participating in the weed search and destroy war.
  • I keep a green waste can in the backyard, as I clean my garden beds. The normal plants are chopped with my shovel and put into the compost pile, but any diseased or fungal problems go in the green waste can.
  • When you clean out your garden beds, rake the beds and add some sand and compost to ready it for the next season.
  • Clean your trellises, pull the vines off, tie up any loose wires and brace the frames if they need it.
  • Clip the tops off your bulbs towards the end of the month, give those beds some extra calcium and compost to ready them for next spring.
  • The end of the month is also the time to plant your daffodils, tulips, and other spring flowers.
  • Mulch your beds. You can use shredded leaves, straw, or other mulch to protect your soils from leeching out the nutrients during our rainy season.
  • Give your winter garden plants a feeding now to help them past the transplant stage.
  • Put your lawnmower on a higher cut for winter. If there are any bare patches, sow grass seed and water well.
  • Cut back your herbaceous perennials and mulch to protect them from any cold spells.
  • As you are cleaning your garden beds, collect and save your seeds for the coming year.  Now is the time to take cuttings and start roots.
  • Climbing plants need protection from wind and cold, so brace and tie up your honeysuckle, and other climbing vines.
  • Clean the chicken cage, make sure their heating lamp is working and ready for cold weather.

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