6 more things to do in your garden during October

October Garden by Ravenelle

In the last post, TheGardenLady gave a list of 9 things you should do in your garden before the frost of Fall arrives.  Here are 6 more suggestions:

1.  Pull up diseased plants especially tomatoes, squash and potato plants. Do NOT compost these diseased plants. Bag them and toss them out.

2.  Cut back dead perennials where slugs, snails and other pests might hide. But remember to leave some plants for birds and butterflies.

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9 Things You Can Do in Your Garden before a Frost

Garden set up for fall frosts by Carolannie–temporaril…

Fall is a busy time of year for gardeners.  Here are 9 of the many things you can do before a frost:

1. Start planting bulbs. This is the time to plant those bulbs you want to bloom next spring- like daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, crocuses, etc. You can plant bulbs until there is a hard frost. You can order them from catalogs. TheGardenLady has a number of favorite bulb catalogs.  The nice thing about catalogs is that they send you the bulbs when it is the best time to plant them in your area. But, of course, you can buy bulbs in your local stores if you prefer.

2. Build yourself or buy a compost bin if you don’t already have one.  Sometimes it is best to have at least two compost bins.  There are many instructions for building them online.

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Now is the time to think about Fall bulb planting

Bulbs again by robholland

If you are anything like ThisGardenLady, you are enjoying your garden. Not quite sitting back to enjoy it, because the weeds are more vigorous than many of the plants.

So it seems like the last thing one wants to do now is think about fall bulb planting. But unfortunately, if you want the pick of the catalog crop of bulbs to be planted this fall for next spring’s blooms, this is the time to order. And the catalogs are being mailed to your house, if they know you are interested.  Of course, you can sit back and wait if you don’t mind seeing a sold out sign when you get around to ordering. Many of these bulb stores don’t ask you to pay until the fall, so it is silly to miss out on a special bulb that you feel you really must have blooming in your garden next year.

John Scheepers is the place where many head gardeners say they order their bulbs. TheGardenLady just had the opportunity to visit a famous person’s private garden that will soon be open to the public. The head gardener is naturalizing acres of forest with 1000s of daffodils. I asked him where he bought the bulbs and he mentioned Scheepers.

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Asters in My Fall Garden

20110706 aster by martius

I wrote that Chrysanthemums and perennial asters are in my fall garden. Those seem to be the main flowers when one thinks of fall flowers- those and goldenrod. Because I grew up with wild asters in meadows, I never thought of asters as an interesting plant for a garden. I always preferred chrysanthemums. But nurseries have been coming out with such pretty new asters and they seem so easy to raise and such a delightful addition to the fall garden, that I am having a change of heart about them.

These herbaceous perennials are better known in the UK as Michaelmas Daisies because the peak season of flowering is September and October, with Michaelmas day  falling on the 29th September. Gardeners and horticulturists are becoming more and more excited about asters. Hundreds of species and cultivated varieties are grown in gardens throughout the temperate regions of the world because they grow from Hardiness Temperature zones 2 to 9.

Most asters are native to North America, so if you like to grow native plants asters are a must have. Those who enjoy encouraging wildlife to come to your gardens, asters host a number of insects and animals. It is a food source of Monarch butterflies, painted lady butterflies, and the honey bee as well as the goldfinch and others. Some sources say that deer and rabbits don’t eat asters- other sources say they do. I haven’t seen my asters eaten yet. Asters are shelter for the painted lady butterfly, the goldfinch, the northern Bobwhite, the American toad among others.  See here.  If you would like seed to sow a meadow with asters, check out this.

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Some Things to do in the Garden in October

october garden 33678 by flora.cyclam

I am getting ready for winter and thinking of next spring. Are my readers also doing the same?

I did my first major raking. Living with so many trees, this raking will be ongoing until the last leaf has fallen. But I never throw any leaves away. They are always saved. I don’t leave any leaves on my street. I greedily collect those, too, for composting. I hope you have compost bins for your leaves.

I just planted over 60 tulip bulbs for next spring. Now I have to hope that no varmint eats the bulbs. Unlike daffodil bulbs, tulip bulbs are not poisonous so animals may want to dig them to eat. But the vision of tulips in bloom, is worth the risk. Last year I only lost a few tulips. I have been talking to nursery people to ask what they do to safeguard bulbs and have been told that they put in red hot pepper flakes in the holes with the bulbs. They buy the cheapest giant economy size of pepper flakes for this purpose. I used up my old bottles of pepper flakes and also put in some moth balls into each hole with the bulb food. Then I sprinkled Tabasco sauce or hot chili oil plus stale ground black pepper on the ground after I covered the bulbs with soil. Hope that will detract those cheeky chipmunks.

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Fall Planting

Bulbs. by don.wing45

Everyone knows that fall is the time to plant many of the bulbs that will bloom in the spring. All the stores are now carrying daffodils, tulips and other bulbs and catalogs are sending out the bulbs you ordered this spring. But fall is also the time to plant other plants for next year’s garden.

TheGardenLady just received a mailing from one of her favorite online rose companies The Antique Rose Emporium   reminding me that fall is probably the best time to plant roses if you live in zone 6 or warmer. Roses planted in the fall acclimate quicker and perform better the following spring. Also, this is a great time to get plant bargains especially in your local nurseries.  Friends of mine have found wonderful roses at discount prices at some of the big box stores that sell plants. Continue reading “Fall Planting”

Now is the time to plant your tulips and daffodils

At the Foot of the Magic Tree by JLMphoto

If you are planning to have tulips or daffodils or any bulbs blooming next spring, this is the perfect time to plant them. Bulbs can be planted in the ground now until the soil freezes so hard that you can not dig it. But even though we are having frosts, so long as the soil is able to be dug, you can continue planting the bulbs.  If you fail to put your bulbs in the soil, pot them and keep them in a cold garage or in a cold refrigerator so that they will also bloom next spring.  Bulbs need that coldness to bloom.

If you plan to buy bulbs in the stores, many of them are now on sale- half price or better, be sure to squeeze the bulbs to make sure that the ones you are buying are hard. Don’t buy any bulbs that are mushy or empty. I would ask to open the package in the store to check before you pay for the bulb. You do not want to buy flowering bulbs that are no longer good. A good bulb feels hard.

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Fall is a Great Time to Buy and Plant Plants, Shrubs and Trees

Colorful Fall Planting by Don3rdSE
Colorful Fall Planting by Don3rdSE

The GardenLady just returned home from another buying spree of perennials and shrubs. This is TheGardenLady’s favorite time to buy plants. At Russell Gardens Wholesale, I got the Jackmanii Clematis that I wanted to plant next to my new arbor. I also bought 9 good sized hosta plants plus 6 other perennial plants. The price for everything came to just a little over $50. I couldn’t fit another plant in the car. Today I bought the Buddleia davidii Pink Delight that I decided I needed when I saw the wonderful long pink spikes it has. This buddleia looked magnificent in the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. I bought it in a gallon pot at half price.

When you are driving around this fall, I hope the readers of this blog notice the huge signs at most nurseries that say SALE. And like TheGardenLady, I do hope that you are taking advantage of these sales. Unless you are shopping for a new plant that is being featured in the spring or you are looking for a plant that absolutely must be planted in the spring, FALL is the time of the year to buy and plant your garden. Why? Because this is the time of year that nurseries and gardens are having sales. The nurseries want to get rid of inventory so that they don’t have to keep all those plants in pots over the winter. And they want to make room for new plants that will be coming to them in the spring. And it is not just nurseries that are having the sales, plant catalogs and websites are having their sales. So you, the gardener will reap the benefit of these sales. Fall is a buyers market for perennial plants, shrubs and trees.

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