• Erica Schaffer

October Garden To-dos

It's Fall, y'all ... and finally starting to feel like it! The weather is cooler, making it the perfect time to work in the garden. With some smart planning and a little hard work, your effort will be worth it next year. Read on for everything you need to know.

According to Southern Living, October is the perfect month to plant just about everything, with the exception of tender annuals. It's time to buy and plant bulbs — we've still got a great selection — like daffodils, tulips, narcissus, crocus, alliums, muscaris and more. Now is also the time to plant winter color, including pansies, flowering kale, snapdragons and violas; as well as trees, shrubs and hardy perennials.

It's still important to water this month, even though temperatures are colder. The month of October is dry so plants still need moist soil. New plantings should be watered a couple of times a week. To prevent serious damage to evergreens, be sure they don't go into winter dry.

Other gardening tasks include cleaning plant debris from vegetable and flower gardens. Rake leaves as they fall and start a compost pile. Harvest all tomatoes before the first frost. Green fruits will slowly ripen indoors for months. Finally, dig and store tender bulbs including caladiums and fancy elephant ears.

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