6 Tips on Tending To Your Garden in October

Even though it’s fall, there are gardening tasks perfect for tackling right now — including planting, harvesting, pruning, and organizing that will not only have your garden looking great, but also prep it for all your spring favorites.

1. Plant spring-flowering bulbs

As a general rule of thumb, spring bulbs are planted in the fall. Popular spring bulb varieties such as daffodils and tulips need sunny, dry spots in order to grow, so preferably choose to plant in areas with a good amount of sun.

2. Harvest and prune fruit trees

Pick off any rotting fruit that will spread disease if left on the tree. When a fruit tree is properly pruned in a timely manner, its yields are more consistent and the fruit is of better quality.

3. Plant ornamental trees

Large trees like oaks, beeches, and chestnuts are large and need room to grow. Small trees are easy to clip to keep confined in an allotted space…some can even be grown in containers. Conifers and evergreens give solid shade, while deciduous varieties give dappled shade.

4. Organize seed packets

Use an old wooden box and divide it into sections. Categorize by seed type (salads, annual flowers, perennials, beans, etc.) or alphabetically. File away any unused and half-used packets.

5. Pick flowers for pressing

Pick your favorite flowers before the chill gets them. Arrange on blotting paper then put another sheet on top. Place in a flower press or inside a heavy book with a weight on top. After a week, lift the knife and store in tissue paper for making cards and gifts.

6. Make your own compost

Gather your ingredients, such as food scraps, mix them, put them in a container and cook until they’re warm and blended together. A fully laden compost heap cooks itself. Aim for a balanced mix of wet ingredients (leaves, clippings, and vegetable peelings), and dry elements like wood ash and scrunched newspaper. Pile onto a plastic sheet and mix with a garden fork, then pack into a compost bin. In 9 to 12 months you’ll have rich compost to feed your plants and improve the soil next fall.