DELMARVA ALMANAC

October Garden Planner

by Scott Duncan

Here is Scott Duncan with the October garden planner and some tips for putting your garden to bed for the winter.

  1. In October we begin preparing the garden for spring. Plant crocus, daffodils, peonies, poppies, irises, and other spring blooming bulbs or tubers.

  2. Before the first frost bring in potted house plants and herbs. Help them get used to the change by first putting them on a covered porch for a few days, and then bring them inside.

  3. Keep your herb garden going all winter indoors. Woody herbs like oregano and thyme, can be propagated from cuttings. Seeds from others can be started in potting soil.

  4. Fall is a good time to start cutting back invasive weeds along with diseased or dead shrubs and trees. If you're using pruners on infected materials, be sure to clean them before moving on to the next plant. Dip them in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.

  5. If there is no disease present, leaves and small twigs can be used to build up your compost. Leaves of perennials and trees help create a really rich compost to mix into your flower beds come springtime.

  6. Divide and transplant perennials and ground covers. When cutting back many of your woody perennials, leave a stem of at least six inches so that you know where they are in the early spring. For all other perennials, mark them with stakes.

  7. Add a 3" layer of mulch to those parts of your garden that are particularly exposed to the harsh winter elements. This will help keep winter weeds down and possibly bring back some of those plants that might not normally winter over.

  8. Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, groundcovers and vines now, before freezing temperatures, or wait until spring.