Hotline: 816.833.TREE (8733)

Tuesday, Oct. 7th 2014

October Gardening Calendar

Now that we are into cooler months and the gardening activities are slowing down I am going to to the calendar month by month.  Will resume week by week next spring.

 Category Week Activity
1 2 3 4
Ornamentals x x x x Continue watering, especially evergreens if soils are dry.
x x x x Nuts or seeds of woody plants usually require exposure to 3 months cold before sprouting. This may be provided by outdoor planting in fall or “stratifying” in an unsealed bag of damp peat moss placed in the refrigerator.
x x x x Container grown and B & B trees and shrubs can be planted. Loosen the soil in an area 2 times the diameter of the root ball before planting. Mulch well after watering.
x x x x Plant spring bulbs among hostas, ferns, daylilies or ground covers. As these plants grow in the spring they will hide the dying bulb foliage.
x x For best bloom later this winter, Christmas cactus, potted azaleas and kalanchoe may be left outdoors until night temperatures drop to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
x x x Spring bulbs for forcing can be potted up now and stored in a cool, frost-free place until it is time to bring indoors, usually 12 to 15 weeks.
x x Cannas and dahlias can be dug when frost nips their foliage. Allow the plants to dry under cover in an airy, frost-free place before storage.
x x Transplant deciduous trees once they have dropped their leaves.
x Plant tulips now.
x Trees may be fertilized now. This is best done following soil test guidelines.
Lawns x x Seeding should be finished by October 15.
x x Broadleaf herbicides can be applied now to control cool-season weeds such as chickweed and dandelion.
x x Continue mowing lawns until growth stops.
x x Keep leaves raked off lawns to prevent smothering grass.
x x Now is a good time to apply lime if soil tests indicate the need.
x Winterize lawn mowers before storage.
Vegetables  x x x x Sow cover crops such as winter rye after crops are harvested.
x x Harvest winter squash and pumpkins before frost. For best storage quality, leave an inch or two of stem on each fruit.
x x Dig sweet potatoes before a bad freeze.
x x x x Gourds should be harvested when their shells become hard or when their color changes from green to brown.
x x x x A few degrees of frost protection may be gained by covering tender plants with sheets or light-weight fabric row covers.
x x x x Continue harvesting tender crops before frost.
x x x x The average first frost usually arrives about October 15-20.
Fruits x x x x Store apples in a cool basement in old plastic sacks that have been perforated for good air circulation.
   x x Persimmons start to ripen, especially after frost.
x x Monitor fruit plantings for mouse activity and take steps for their control if present.
x Place wire guards around trunks of young fruit trees for protection against mice and rabbits.
Miscellaneous x Fall color season begins.
x Begin peak fall color in maples, hickories and oaks.
x End of peak fall color.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program