October Gardening Tips

By Abby Lapides

Fall is the ideal time to plant perennials, shrubs, and trees, since cooler weather encourages roots to grow deep. By spring plants are well established and ready to produce their delightful flowers and more importantly food for many critters. You can plant perennial plants through October and woody plants right up until the ground starts to freeze. October and November are ideal months to plant your spring flowering bulbs.
You’ll be be glad you did when you see the daffodils and tulips begin to emerge in spring. Plant bulbs among ferns, daylilies, hostas and groundcovers as these plants will hide dying bulb foliage in late spring. Now is the time to divide daylilies and late flowering perennials.

Before planting add organic matter to the soil, a touch of all purpose fertilizer, and mulch plants. Do not put mulch over the crown of the plants. Water in with 1/2 strength liquid fertilizer. Even though you may not see any growth or new leaves, these plants will continue to put on roots. Keep these plants well watered as long as possible. You do not want the plants to go into winter on the dry side.

October is a busy month in the garden. Many chores must be completed before winter sets in. It is important to keep your established shrubs and trees well watered through fall. Many spring-flowering shrubs have set their spring flower buds. Avoid pruning at this time of year as you could be cutting off these flowers. Examples of spring-flowering shrubs include Forsythia, Flowering Quince, Almond, Beauty-bush, Deutzia, Pyracantha, Lilac, Mock Orange, Cotoneaster, Weigela, Viburnum, Hydrangea macrophylla and Witchhazel. Do not prune roses in the fall, wait until all leaves have fallen off and the plants have gone dormant. Unattractive foliage can be cut off perennials now. Top dress or work additional organic matter into established garden beds. Remove all weeds from beds and apply a pre-emergent herbicide.

For more information visit www.sugarcreekgardens.com. Stop by Sugar Creek Gardens to see our selection of bulbs, shrubs, perennials and trees for your fall planting.
Sugar Creek Gardens
1011 N. Woodlawn
Kirkwood, MO 63122