For lawns, the optimum seeding and germination time is past. October is the time to apply broadleaf herbicides to help control dandelions and other broadleaf weeds. If your lawn is actively growing, continue to mow it, leaving it around the 3” height to allow grass to be sufficient in growth going into the winter. Continue to watch for rust damage, and apply a Nitrogen fertilizer to your lawns if needed. This will help your lawn be nice and green come spring.
October is also the time for an amount of yardwork. It is time to start preparing your beds for the winter. Perennials should be cut back and any diseased plant material removed. Destroy (or throw away) the diseased foliage. Fallen tree leaves may be raked and disposed of or mown over to create a mulch for the lawn. Certain hydrangeas, including Limelight, Little Lime, Bobo, Quick Fire, Incrediball, Annabelle, and other panicle and smooth hydrangeas, should be pruned to remove spent blooms. Do not prune the Endless Summer hydrangeas.
Plantings of fall annuals are in full swing. These include mums, asters, cabbages, kales, pansies, and more. There are a variety of options for your fall color. Consider any tree needs for your yard. We have begun to dig evergreens, with deciduous plants to follow in October and November. These deciduous plants include honeylocusts, ginkgos, maples, viburnums, and serviceberries.
Start planning for bulb plantings. Now is the time to explore and decide which fall bulbs you would like to plant for spring color. They are best planted in late October early November when the weather is much cooler but before the ground is frozen. These bulbs include Tulips, Daffodils, Crocus, Hyacinths, Alliums (Ornamental Onion) and more.
Houseplants (and any other plant) being brought in for the winter need to be prepped for the indoors. They should be treated with an insecticide (or horticultural oil/Neem) to prevent the bringing of unwanted visitors indoors. Also, remove any dead or broken branches and leaves. Plants should be moved to a slightly shadier location for a period of time before moving indoors to help them acclimate to the weaker light conditions indoors. They should be brought in before night temperatures are consistently in the 40s or lower.
Do not forget to visit your local garden center for ongoing sales!