01 October 2010

October To Do List

•The most important thing to do is keep up with a watering routine.  With the weather a bit cooler, you won't need to water so often but don't quit altogether.  It is very important to water in (soak deeply) trees, shrubs and roses before we receive a hard frost.  Watering now will help create an ice block around the roots of trees, shrubs and roses and protect them from the heaving and thawing associated with spring.  This will melt slowly, providing the plants with some moisture as the soil warms.

•Cut back hard (down) perennials.  Remove annuals and add to compost unless diseased.  Keep seed heads intact if they are ornamental. Ornamental grasses can be kept in place as they add nice winter interest. Consider saving seed heads to add to winter containers.

•Water perennials before freeze-up.

•Rake leaves from lawn and compost unless diseased.  Lower cutting setting on mower and cut grass.

•Instead of bagging your leaves, keep some for mulching or rake them directly on to flower beds.

•To speed composting, shred leaves in shredder or a lawnmower.

•Apply mulch in a deep layer in shrub and perennial borders.  Cover evergreen perennials with conifer branches and add snow to shrubs and perennials and beneath trees.  Snow offers great insulation.

•Mulch newly planted bulbs.

•Protect tender roses such as hybrid teas with large bottomless pails or styrofoam rose huts and fill with peat moss or dry leaves.  I've had success with rose collars around hybrid roses to hold mulch in place for winter too.

•Unplanted pots of plants should be buried to their rim in soil or put in a cold frame insulated with mulch..

•Provide shade for cold frames from winter and early spring sun.

•Empty soil from ceramic containers and store inside.

•Once neighbourhood trees are bare of leaves, clean out eavestroughs and downspouts.  Make any necessary repairs at this time.

•Put up clean birdfeeders.

•Remove, clean and store pumps for ponds, clean fountains and statuary (removing pumps from all water features and storing them indoors for winter). Store or wrap to protect fountains and statuary (check manufacturer's instructions or check with store where it was purchased for correct procedures for protection).

•Make sure your snow shovel is handy.  You never know when the snow will fly.

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