Gardening in October is quite diverse. It is necessary to winterize the garden and make preparations for the coming gardening year. In addition, there are some plants that you can still plant now in the fall.
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In October, autumn is already clearly noticeable. The leaves are colorful, the temperatures are falling and the year is slowly coming to an end. In the garden there is still a lot of gardening to do.
Here you get an overview of important gardening tasks in October.
You will learn what you need to do to winterize your garden and what preparations you can make for the coming gardening year. We’ll also tell you which plants you can still put in the ground now.
WINTERIZE YOUR GARDEN
The gardening season is coming to an end. The most important gardening tasks in October are therefore preparations for winter. Here’s what you should still be thinking about in October:
- * Harvest: Now it’s time to clear beds. The last vegetables are still to be harvested, beet and other tuberous plants for example. Broccoli, carrots and pumpkin are also in season now. Before the frost comes, you can also harvest green tomatoes. On a sunny windowsill, they have a good chance of ripening. Some fruits such as apples and pears are also ripe now. After harvest, it’s time to preserve fruit and store it properly. After harvest, it’s called preserving fruit and storing it properly.
- * Mulching: To protect the soil and the microorganisms living in it from the cold, you can simply mulch your beds with the remaining plants. Avoid leaving the soil fallow. Clear your beds of weeds and use the weeds you have weeded for mulching.
- * Rake leaves: After the first frost at the latest, most trees and hedges let go of their remaining leaves. A thick layer of leaves does not leave enough air for the lawn and it rots. Therefore, gardening in October also includes raking autumn leaves about every two weeks. You can also use the leaves for mulching or build a pile of leaves to overwinter for hedgehogs and other beneficial insects like ladybugs. Or even build a hedgehog house?
- * Overwinter plants: Especially plants in pots and containers usually can’t overwinter outside. They need a suitable place indoors, such as in the basement, to survive the winter well. Other plants can be covered with a layer of leaves and branches to protect them from the cold.
- * Pruning plants: Now that everything has faded and borne fruit, now is a good time to cut back some plants. Various fruit trees, for example, benefit from this gardening in October. This allows them to sprout fresh in the spring. You can also cut back raspberry bushes at ground level. Other trees should be pruned in the spring. In addition, withered grasses and faded perennials can also be useful to some beneficial insects for overwintering.
- * Turn compost: The end of the season is a good time to build or move compost and spread mature compost.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR NEXT SEASON
You can still plant winter kale in October.
Some preparatory gardening work also occurs in October. This will enable you to give yours a good start for the next season. Here’s what you should think about now:
- * Plant bulbs: To ensure that your bulbs have enough time to take root before the ground freezes, now is the time to put them in.
- * Fertilize: Part of gardening in October is also providing your plants with adequate nutrients one more time. This will get them through the winter just fine. Provide plants with plenty of mature compost or other organic fertilizer so they can sprout at full strength in the new year. Filling raised beds and providing them with fertilizer should also be on your to-do list now.
- * Collect seeds: Many plants are already completely flowered in October. Now is the right time to collect the seeds. This way you avoid that everything sows itself and you can decide next year what you want to sow again.
- * Control slugs: Close gaps and cracks around your beds to prevent slugs from laying their eggs here.
- * Plant hardy woody plants: Now is the time to plant new fruit trees, roses and wild hedges. If you do this gardening in October, they can take root well before the ground freezes over and sprout stronger in the new year. Frost-sensitive plants such as hibiscus or hydrangeas should be planted in spring. Since climate change also has consequences for your garden, you should choose robust hedges – read more here: Gardening for Climate Change: How to climate-proof your garden.
- * Grow winter vegetables: There are also some plants that are not affected by frost, such as winter purslane, lamb’s lettuce, spinach or rhubarb. Jerusalem artichokes are also hardy and will reliably sprout the next spring. You can also plant garlic and onions now.