Seasonal Gardening Calendar
Pansy planting season has begun, get a six pack and start planting! In order to see pretty flowers in the spring, plant spring flowering bulbs, like tulip, daffodil and hyacinth.
OCTOBER Week 1
October Shopping List
Fall fescue planting season officially begins! Watering restrictions are still in force in many places so make SURE you have good soil-seed contact. Aerate before seeding, roll afterwards, water when you can.
Last chance to apply a weed preventer to bermudagrass, zoysiagrass and centipedegrass lawns to thwart winter weeds like chickweed and annual bluegrass. You can still get 75% control at this point in the season.
See Timing Pre-emergent Application
Give your poinsettia plenty of light
If you want your poinsettia to turn color by Christmas, now’s the time to begin giving it 14 hours of darkness and 10 hours of bright light each day.
See Forcing Poinsettia into Color
Trim back woody plants
Trim back by one fourth any woody plants you’ve kept outdoors during the summer, to help them fit inside your home for the winter.
See Pruning Hibiscus
Fertilize new fescue
Fertilize newly planted fescue with a high-phosphorus starter fertilizer.
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OCTOBER Week 2
The pansy planting season begins now! Plant “six-pack” pansies eight inches apart, larger plants can be spaced ten inches apart.
See Planting Pansies
Cut back flower stems
Cut brown flower stems of purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, daylily and hosta back to ground level.
Bring in patio plants
Move patio plants into shade for two weeks before bringing them inside. This will help prevent leaf drop.
Fertilize new pansies
Drench newly-planted pansies with water-soluble houseplant fertilizer at the rate shown on the label. This will push them off to a fast start.
Apply weed preventer
Apply a weed preventer to beds of already-planted cool-season flowers to prevent weed seeds from sprouting.
OCTOBER Week 3
Clean up fallen fruit
Clean fallen fruit from the ground under pear and apple trees. Remove from the tree any fruit that you don’t intend to harvest.
See Fruit Tree Care
Plant Spring bulbs
Plant spring flowering bulbs, like tulip, daffodil and hyacinth. Old, crowded beds can be loosened and the bulbs divided and replanted now.
Finish dividing daylily clumps, iris rhizomes and peony roots. Plant them into a well-dug bed immediately.
One last mowing
Raise your mower height one-half inch and enjoy a last mowing of your Bermuda, centipede or zoysia lawn. You can now put your lawnmower to rest for the winter.
Remove faded roses
Remove faded rose blooms. Clip wayward stems back so the plant has a compact form, ready for winter wind and ice.
See Rose Care
OCTOBER Week 4
Cut back faded flowers
As chrysanthemum and aster flowers fade, cut the plants back to six inches tall.
Rake out and replace all of the mulch and dead leaves under roses, red tip photinia and crabapples. You’ll prevent diseases on next year’s leaves.
Check your pesticides in storage
Review your pesticide storage procedures. Are they all labeled? In a locked cabinet? In a place where they won’t freeze this winter?
see Storing and Disposing Pesticides
Bring root cuttings inside
Root cuttings of geranium, impatiens, begonia and other “outside” plants to bring indoors for the winter.
see Cleaning and Propagating Houseplants
Fertilize pansies again with water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. Switch to a product that contains nitrate nitrogen (Osmocote, Pansy Booster, etc) when you feed in two weeks.
see Pansy Care