October 2011 In Your Garden

October In Your Garden

I don’t know about you but I find October mostly smells really good; fallen leaves, moist air, the neighbour’s fireplace, my pumpkin spice latte and ripening russet apples in my garage and the earthy smell of damp dog. Alright, perhaps that last one isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but to this family it is definitely a sign of fall.

Here's the list:


you can aerate and top-dress with sand or topdressing mix if needed to smooth out those bumps and bare patches. Once done you can still overseed. Get in those last mowings, that’s the good news. The bad news is you will be trading your mower in for your rake. Try to avoid having clumps of leaves sit on your grass for long periods of time or you will have bare patches. If you have a mulching mower, fantastic. If not, rake or blow and put in the compost.


Garden Beds
now that the ground is moist it is an excellent time to divide and move some of your hardy perennials. You can move many deciduous and evergreen shrubs at this time. For really large deciduous shrubs or trees you can wait until they are fully dormant once leaves have fallen towards the end of the month. Do some tidying and mulching – it doesn’t have to be perfect, remember there are many overwintering pollinators in the hollow stems of perennials.



If you are lucky enough to have some late season grasses, enjoy!! My Miscanthus is in its full glory and is starting to go a lovely butter yellow colour. Lift your glads before the frosts. For dahlias and cannas, lift after the first frost, clean, inspect and place in a cool dry place in slightly moist peat or shavings. Keep the crown of the plant where the stem was above the peat so you can watch out for any decay. Continue to turn and inspect, you can dust with cinnamon – it is a good fungicide.

now is a great time to plant your late winter and spring flowering bulbs. Either take a picture or mark on a garden map where you’ve planted so you don’t damage them when you are weeding.

Save Seeds
save seeds from favorite tomatoes and flowers. Each plant has its own seed saving characteristics so google the ones you wish to save for the best techniques.


japanese maple

Trees and Shrubs
Now is the time to go around your neighborhood with a camera right around the golden hour just as the sun is dipping on the horizon and everything is washed with a soft golden glow.

Save any major pruning for the winter when there are fewer disease organisms present.

If you have had a problem with the winter moth caterpillar which feeds on the leaves of fruit trees especially apples, blueberry as well as other ornamental leaf trees beginning in April, you can exert a bit of nontoxic barrier control. Wrap the trunk of the tree to be protected with a band of plastic wrap above kitty or dog level if you have critters, and then apply the sticky substance called Tanglefoot to it. Remove and refresh as needed until February. Female winter moths are unable to fly and climb up the trunk of the tree to lay their eggs.

Prepare areas now for new garden beds next spring. You can remove sod and compost or use the cover method in our saved articles.


fall planters
Why Yes, We plant Fall Planters!
Ask us for details

Pots and containers
remove annuals and freshen up the soil mix with a topdressing of compost or soil. Add some fall colour with pansies, grasses, hardy evergreen container plants, pumpkins etc. Have fun and use your imagination. There are tons of great ideas for you at the nursery and on line. Bring containers up close to the house and group them. Think about winter protection for those plants. As it gets colder you can bring them under an overhang, deck, in the garage, or wrap them with bubble wrap, underlay or that shiny insulated wrap from a hardware store for outdoor faucets etc. You can hide these protective wraps if in view with burlap and bows. If you are putting them in an area that won’t be seen you can surround them with bagged leaves (plastic bags that will keep the leaves dry and won’t break down.

Have a great Thanksgiving folks!!



Author: Laurelle O. Source: Arts Nursery Ltd.


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