To Do in the Garden – October

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Your Entire Property

  • Fall is an excellent time for taking soil samples in your lawn and garden.  Soil tests will measure the pH of the soil, organic matter content, and the levels of some of the major elements required for plant growth, such as phosphorus and potassium.
  • Kennedy’s carries bulk organic compost – a great soil amendment for almost every soil type and every project.

 

Lawn

  • Apply second annual application of lime if needed to raise the pH level.
  • Gradually cut the lawn shorter and shorter this month to make leaf and debris removal easier.

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Trees and Shrubs

  • Continue to water any trees or shrubs you planted this year until the ground freezes.
  • Late fall is a great time to prune hardwood trees, as you can really see the shape of the tree once the leaves have fallen.
  • Clean up your orchard and other fruiting trees.  Sanitation is essential for good maintenance.  Remove dried fruits or mummies from the trees.  Rake up and dispose of fruits and leaves on the ground.  Fruits and leaves harbor disease organisms and pest insects through the winter allowing them to attack next year’s crop.
  • Prune any remaining dead or diseased branches off your trees and shrubs.
  • If needed, treat Hemlocks with spray applications of horticultural oil during the fall or winter months.  We are happy to discuss treatment options with you.
  • Feed trees and shrubs to promote root growth.

 

Perennial Beds, Bulb Plants, Roses, etc.

  • If you haven’t planted bulbs yet, October is still a great month to get them in the ground.
  • Dig up and bring in dahlias, cannas, and gladiolus.  Dry, clean, and store in a cool, dry location.
  • Fertilize perennials and bulbs with a fertilizer designed to promote root growth.

 

Annuals – Containers and Beds

  • It’s not too late to plant up your containers with mums, cabbages, and other cold-tolerant flowering annuals and ornamental vegetables that will last through Thanksgiving.
  • Kennedy’s has a great selection of pumpkins, squash, cornstalks, Indian corn, and bales of hay for your fall decorating projects.

 

Houseplants and Tropicals

  • If you have not done so already, well before the first frost, bring in any houseplants or tropicals that you want to keep.  We recommend treating for insects before bringing them inside.  Please come see us with any questions you might have regarding treatment.
  • Christmas cacti need special care now to get beautiful flowers in December.  Buds will form at 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit or if the plant is exposed to at least 13 hours of complete darkness each night.

 

Vegetables and Fruits

  • As harvest season winds down and plants die back, remove annual plants and any debris from your garden, as plant material may harbor over-wintering stages of disease or insect pests.
  • Fall is a good time for improving your garden soil.  Add manure, compost, and leaves to increase the organic matter content.
  • We’re very fortunate to live by the sea!  Take a trip to the beach after a storm and gather some seaweed to use as mulch.  The seaweed will prevent weeds, reduce erosion during the winter, and add micro-nutrients to the soil as it decays.  In the spring, rake up the seaweed and add it to your compost pile.  Salt marsh hay is another great mulch that will keep cold-season weeds at bay.  Gather your own, or come and pick up a bale or two at Kennedy’s.
  • If you haven’t done so already, sow a winter cover crop that will reduce erosion, fix nitrogen in the soil, and add organic matter and nutrients when you till it into the soil later.