Thursday, October 3, 2013

Timely Garden Tips for Autumn by Master Gardener Bonnie Olliver

Photo courtesy of

  • Plant spring-blooming bulbs when the soil is consistently cool.
  • Harvest tender vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers) when frost threatens, and protect cold-tolerant crops with row covers on cold nights.
  • Harvest winter squash and store in a cool place.
  • Dig and store tender bulbs such as dahlias, gladiolas and calla lilies.
  • Continue to water newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials with a thorough soaking once a week if rainfall isn’t one inch/week.
  • Take cuttings of some favorite annuals such as impatiens, coleus and geraniums for growing indoors.
  • Get houseplants ready to bring indoors by “cleaning them up” and checking for insects.
  • Remove and compost spent plants from annual and vegetable gardens.
  • Rake fallen leaves and bag some for use in the compost pile during the winter and spring.
  • Plant garlic now for harvest in the summer.
  • Prune dead, dying, damaged or diseased branches from trees and shrubs anytime.
  • Clean garden tools, winterize the lawn mower, empty the hoses.
  • Be prepared to feed the birds as the weather gets colder.
  • Save seeds of species (not hybrid) varieties of flowers and vegetables which were your favorites.
  • Prune roses “lightly” to prevent the canes from being whipped around by winter winds. Save major pruning until spring.