Now that October has finally arrived, it's time to get out in the yard and do some garden and planter clean up. Below is a list of suggestions on things you should be doing approximately this time of year to get prepared for the fall and winter months ahead.
If you plan ahead and follow these suggestions, you will have much success in your garden pottery in the months ahead.
For blooms from winter through spring, plant cool season annuals now so they get established and start flowering before the weather turns cold. Otherwise, they may not flower until spring. Buy young plants of calendula, pansies, primrose, and snapdragons now and plant them or sow the seeds.
Select cleaned out garden pottery and make sure the soil is new. Add fertilizer now to the soil to assure a good start in the the Spring. Make sure there are no cobwebs or insects attached to the outside of the pottery. You want to start with as clean a pot as possible.
For blooms in spring, fill a big planter pot with one type of bulb, whether daffodil, hyacinth, or tulip. Fill the pot with potting soil so bulb tops will sit about 4 to 5 inches below the pot rim. Firm the soil, then set the bulbs closely together on top; a 16 inch flared pot will hold 40 to 50 tulips, daffodils, or hyacinths.
Cover the bulbs with soil, leaving about 2 inches at the top for watering space. Set the pot in a cool, shaded area, moisten the soil, and top it with mulch; water again. Move pots into full sun when leaves develop. Flowers will appear about four months after planting.
If you don't have space for multiple fruit trees, try growing a single tree with multiple fruiting branches grafted onto one root stock. For best selection, order bare root trees now for January pickup. Place these planter pots in a shaded area and mulch the top of the soil for added protection thru the cold months ahead.
October is the best month for setting out any kind of plant that's not frost tender. Ground coveres, shrubs, trees, and vines all benefit from fall planting, when temperatures are cooling and rain is on the way.
Now is the time to clean up debris. To reduce the number of sites that harbor insects and diseases over winter, pull and discard weeds, spent annuals, and vegetables. Also clean up all fruit and fallen leaves. Compost only plant debris that is free of disease, insect pests, and weeds.
Clean the outsides of all pottery to remove any insects or clotted dirt. Clean off the top soil of dead leaves and flowers and re-till the surface soil to keep it from clumping. Dead head any flowers that are spent or pinch off yellow or dying leaves.
Taking a few minutes to clean things up, planning ahead and purchasing a few products now will add assure much success next spring and summer.