As fall gets ready to segue into winter, there’s still plenty to do around the garden to make sure it’s an easy transition for the plants, as well as getting ready to dry the harvested herbs and storing seeds for next season. There are vegetables and some cool-season annuals that can be planted now, but most of a gardener’s work in October is to finish the harvest and get the garden tidy for next spring!
Fruit Trees (deciduous): Most fruit trees (except some apple and pear varieties), have finished their fruit production by now, so decreasing the amount they’re being watered – to a bare minimum – will help them go dormant for the winter.
Lawns: Now is the time to plant your cool-season lawns (fescue, bluegrass, ryegrass) and go ahead and give them a full dose of fertilizer so they can get a solid start. If you have a warm-season lawn, you can give it one more feeding to try to keep them green into the fall season as long as possible.
Perennials: If you’re planning on having a perennial garden, October is generally seen as the most important month to get started. Planting now allows them to establish themselves through fall and winter for spring bloom. They won’t need much - if any - fertilizing during the cooler months since they’re currently going out of bloom.
Shrubs: Now is the time to prune all your shrubs to get ready for winter; you can also use the freshly cut branches as holiday decorations instead of just tossing them to be mulched.
Herbs: October is the best month to plant cool-season herbs such as anise, arugula, borage, chives, cilantro, comfrey, dill, fennel, lavender, lemongrass, parsley, and rosemary.
Soil: A thick layer (about two inches) of organic mulch should be maintained on your garden beds year-round; this is an important step because a thick layer of mulch will moderate the soil temperatures, reduce weed germination, and significantly improve soil quality.
Irrigation: Reset your sprinklers and irrigation to lessen the amount of water you’re giving to your grow now that the weather is cooling off and many of the plants are going dormant for the winter.
This is just a general overview of things that may need to get done around your garden to prepare for winter, though everyone’s grows are different. If you have herbs you know you’ll be drying, seeds you’ll be storing, or want an easy way to bag up mulch that you’d like to keep for the next season, a couple of 18” x 20” Turkey Bags act as a great storage solution. Left Coast Turkey Bags can withstand temperatures from frozen to 450 F, and are great for storing harvested crops and compost. Turkey Bags are recyclable, eco-friendly and have a strong bacterial and fungus barrier. After spending all month cleaning up, nobody wants to see piles of anything left out to the elements - Left Coast Turkey Bags can make clean-up and storage a breeze!
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