Gardens By Design logo

October garden tips and chores

October garden tips and chores from Clemson University

Its time to plant winter color!

In the garden, Pansies and Snapdragons are used to brighten up early spring or fall and winter gardens. They can hide the dying foliage of early spring bulbs and are excellent in containers to add a bit of color to porches or decks in cool weather. Children love the "faces" on pansies, so they are excellent choices for a child's garden. Pansies are edible and can be used to decorate cakes or added to salads. Snapdragons make good cut flowers and Pansies are charming when dried and used in crafts.

October chores

Right now, in your garden, there are thousands of seeds just waiting for you to harvest them. As you stroll through the garden in the next few days, you’ll notice that all of your annuals and perennials are producing brown seed heads (seed pods). Inside those drying seed pods are hundreds of seeds for next year. Why buy seeds already packaged for around a buck a piece when you can harvest your own seeds, from your own garden; and it’s easy.

October is the best month to transplant Perennials. Enrich beds with organic soil amendment.

Lift and store Begonia, Dahlia and Gladiolus.

Mark dormant bulbs so they won't be destroyed when ground is prepared for spring planting.

Be ready when the shipments of bulbs such as Crocus, Daffodils, Irises, Day lilies, Freesias, Hyacinth and Tulips arrive at nurseries; then plant immediately.

Early shopping guarantees best selections.

Water well to encourage root development and cover with plenty of mulch.

Keep Marigolds blooming until the frost arrives. Feed, water and pick faded blooms. Shelter frost-tender plants or cover winter cuttings.

Lift and divide plants that have finished blooming. Divide and re plant... Daisies, Callas, and Day lilies every few years for best bloom. 

Plant for fall and winter color

Plant balled-and-burlapped and container fruit trees

Prune frost-sensitive fruit trees

Plant or repair lawns

Plant ornamental grasses

Sow seeds for frost-tolerant perennials

Plant fall- and winter-blooming perennials

Prune fall-blooming shrubs and vines just after bloom

Plant seedlings of cool-season or winter vegetables

Sow seeds for cool-season or winter vegetables

Remove suckers from Roses. Spray or dust Roses to discourage mildew.

Winterize, protect or lift tender perennials for winter storage.

Clean up the planting areas as you harvest fruit, flowers, vegetables. Rake up fallen leaves and fruit. Compost all disease- free organic refuse. Destroy all disease infected refuse.

Protect container plants for winter. Mulch tender plants that can't be moved.

Continue watering lawns, trees, shrubs, vines and all new plantings until the rains come. Don't forget to water plants in sheltered areas. Well-watered plants survive freezing temperatures better than dry ones.

Prune trees and shrubs so that the air can flow through them freely in winter.

Cover open compost heaps with plastic when there are signs of heavy rains.

Set out a dish of beer for your slugs now. Remove dead slugs daily.

Have fun with pumkins, goards and squash! What a wonderful way to decorate your garden porch or patio! 

Just when you think it’s all over, many varieties of Camellia Sasanqua will begin to bloom giving your landscape an magnificent show of color. And then something “berry” interesting reveals itself in the landscape; bright colorful berries that are finally exposed and getting the attention they deserve. Nature just won’t quit; first beautiful bulbs open the show in spring, then giving way to the performance of colorful summer flowers; followed by beautiful fall foliage that takes center stage; and finally, the last show are berries, beautiful berries,in the rich colors of royal purple, fire engine red, orange-orange, canary yellow, white;... 


There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." 
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)

Gardens By Design

Chris Hankey - Owner / Designer

1312 Bermuda Ct.

Surfside Beach, SC 29575

Phone: (843) 504-1492

Fax: (843) 215-0827

This Myrtle Beach SC Landscape Design Website © 2010 - All Rights Reserved