October is the best month to plant perennials in our area. Preparation is key to success.
• Before replanting perennials, add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring.
• Keep the transplants well-watered (but not soggy) for the first month as they become settled. During the cooler (and wetter) months to come, they’ll develop strong roots.
• Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage. If in doubt, throw it out. Keep fungal diseases and noxious weeds out of the compost, or they’ll come back next year.
• Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.
• Plant winter vegetables. From seed, plant beets, chard, collards, leeks, mustard, peas, radicchio, radishes and spinach. Set out transplants for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and leaf lettuce.
• Now also is the time to plant seeds for many spring flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, poppy, portulaca and sweet pea.
• Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.
• Reseed and feed the lawn.
– Debbie Arrington