October is finally here and it is one of my favorite months of the year! It’s a blast to watch all of the gardens put out their last bit of fruit before closing up for the winter. But now that it’s gotten colder, there are a few things you should be doing to keep your garden ready for next spring.
Before you put away the lawn fertilizer for the winter, give your grass one more deep fertilizing. Choose a type of fertilizer with a “winterizer” on the label, this will keep your grass protected from harsh winter weather.
Now that your garden has finished producing, go through your garden and remove any dead or dying vegetable plants. Failing to remove them provides a place for insects and pests to live, and no one wants to deal with a pest control problem come Spring. You can even add these plant scraps to your compost pile…they’ll provide a nice bit of nutrients when broken down and composted.
Speaking of compost…before calling it good for the season, add a layer of mulch and compost and mix it well into your soil. Let this mixture sit over the winter where the leaves and compost will provide a hearty bit of nutrients to depleted soil. If there’s one thing that you can’t forget to do, it’s this!
Before putting them away for the rest of the season, clean and sharpen your gardening tools. Clean them by dipping them in bleach, and sharpen with a sharpening tool. After you’ve finished cleaning them, coat them with a bit of linseed oil.
If you want your perennial shrubs and flowers to come back better than ever next growing season, it’s best to care for them come October. Fertilize all perennial plants, but wait to prune or deadhead these after the last frost next Spring. You can, however, also remove any dead or dying branches and leaves.
Have fun gardening this October! -Jenny