October’s Great Eight Tasks

by maggie

The month of October is one of the most important and fun months of the year for a New England gardener. There is a lot to do, so let’s get started on October’s Great Eight Tasks . . .

  1. Top-dress your planting beds with NutriMulch. You will see a big difference in the growth of your plants if you apply our compost/aged bark mulch blend to your beds both in the spring and the fall. Adding organic content to your beds in the fall gives the compost time to be incorporated into the soil over the winter. When plants begin their spring growth, they have access to good, rich soil.
  2. Apply fall fertilizer to your lawn. Fall fertilization is best because the lawn has passed through the stressful summer months and needs food to rebuild itself and prepare for the winter. Nutrients are required to take full advantage of the cool weather growth period to restore the lawn to full health. Fertilizing with an organic slow-release fertilizer like Dr. Earth’s Super Natural Lawn Fertilizer now helps grass develop a thick and deep root system, so it can better survive next summer’s heat.
  3. Create a bird friendly backyard by providing a safe refueling spot to migrating birds. Hang a feeder with nutritious foods high in oil and fat such as sunflower seeds, nuts and peanut butter. These foods give the birds energy to migrate or to survive the dropping temperatures if they stay in the area year-round. If you can, don’t cut down the plants that provide winter snacks for birds, such as the seed heads of coneflowers and black-eyed Susan’s.
  4. Properly watering the plants in the fall can be an effective means of minimizing injury to trees and shrubs during the winter. The winter damage to which trees and shrubs are susceptible often stems from their inability to draw water from the frozen ground. Trees and shrubs should be watered deeply in the fall before the ground freezes, so water can reach the roots.
  5. Apply an Anti-Desiccant to your evergreens. Wilt-Pruf protects evergreens, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, hollies, boxwood, laurel, when under water stress – by reducing moisture loss through foliage. It protects against cold drying winds of winter and protects plants when roots are frozen in the winter depriving them of their normal moisture intake.
  6. If you let your houseplants “vacation” on your back deck this summer, then it’s time to move them back inside. Because sudden changes in temperature, light, and humidity can be traumatic to plants, a gradual reintroduction to the indoors is best. Check to make sure if they need to be repotted – it is cleaner if done outside rather than in!
  7. Plant a tree. Money actually does grow on trees! The Us Forest Service estimates that over a typical 50-year lifespan, an average tree can produce up to $125,000 in benefits to the environment alone.  Planting a tree within 50 feet of a residence can increase its value by 9%. The ideal time to plant trees and shrubs is during the fall after leaf drop or early spring before bud break. Weather conditions are cool and allow plants to establish roots in the new location before spring rains and summer heat stimulate new top growth.
  8. Pat yourself on the back for a job well this gardening year. Curl up before a roaring

Thayer Nursery Kiln-Dried Firewood fire with plant catalogues and the promise of the arrival of spring.

For everything, there is a season. Keep this in mind, and enjoy this fall season.

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