Things to Do This Month
Giant Swallowtail on Butterfly Weed
Karen Williams, MD
October is a month of plenty in our area. It is time to harvest sweet potatoes, pumpkins, gourds and winter squash before the first frost.
Now is also a good time to rake and compost leaves. Removing leaves from your lawn will help reduce problems. Carefully check your grass for signs of insect infestation and treat as necessary. If you are planning to overseed your lawn with ryegrass, it is time to do so; however, you should postpone seeding, plugging or sodding a new lawn until next spring.
When you can no longer protect your vegetable plants, pull them and add them to your compost pile. It is a good time to add mulch to existing beds.
October is the month to plant pansies, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage, kale, violas, dianthus, sweet William, alyssum and calendulas before the night temperatures drop consistently below 40 degrees. Chives, coriander (cilantro), dill and parsley can be planted now so they will grow through the fall and winter months. Chives, thyme, mint and tarragon can be divided when the new growth emerges. Lettuce, radish and spinach plantings can be put out this month. Onion sets and garlic gloves are best planted this month. Plant strawberries. Be certain to check for watering needs during dry spells. Feed your plantings regularly.
If you are planning on bringing in container plants for the winter, check them carefully for insects. Treat your houseplants as needed, but bring them indoors before the first frost.
Karen Williams, MG
Karen Williams, MG
Tip of the Month
Daylily clumps can be dug and divided in late summer and fall. Storing the clumps is possible, but replanting right away is preferable in our humid climate. Trim the leaves back by several inches, dig up the entire clump, and separate the crowns carefully by hand or cutting them apart to retain as many roots as possible.
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.