COLUMN: October checklist for gardens

Look at all the outdoor colour potential in other gardens and in garden stores at this time of year...

October is an important month for many things in our gardens.

1. It’s the last chance to plant garlic for harvest next July. Raised beds, sandy soil and a sunny location are key.  Russian and Elephant garlic are usually the most successful in our area.  Plant at a depth 3 to 4 times the width of the clove and about 4-5” (10-12cm) apart.

2. For colour in late December and January, plant yellow winter aconites and snowdrops as soon as possible.  They are best planted in and around shrubs or evergreen perennials, like Japanese azaleas, dwarf conifers, euphorbias, colourful heucheras and new sedums, like golden Angelina.

3. Tone up your lawn, keep it green and help it bounce back quickly in spring by applying a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer like 32-0-10.  West Coast turf trials endorse this application.  Now is also the time to apply Dolopril or organic eggshell lime to our lawns to prevent the soil from becoming too acidic over the winter months.

4. Bare patches in our vegetable gardens could be planted with either fall rye or Rejuvenation Mix that actually fixes nitrogen in the soil as it grows.  These are great organic ways to improve the quality of your soil for next year.

5. It’s time to tidy up your roses for winter by simply pruning lightly (about 2 to 3 feet) and by cleaning up any dead wood.  Climbers should be retrained on arbours and trellises and cut back to about 4 to 6 feet.  Leave only 4 to 5 canes and cut out the rest. In early November, apply about 12 to 15 inches of protective mulch or even soil over the bud unions.

6. Most hedging cedars, junipers and other ‘non bud’ forming conifers can be tidied up and pruned to make them less susceptible to heavy snow damage.  Pruning of spruce trees, firs and pines should be left until the end May. Non-flowering broad leaved plants, like laurels, photinias and boxwood, can also be tidied at this time of year.

7. At the end of the month, our last two hardy annual plants must be lifted to ensure their protection for winter.  All tuberous dahlias and canna roots need to be cut back, carefully lifted with forks, cleaned, dried and stored cool over the winter.

8. All tropical indoor plants summering outdoors must be inside now.  They need to be thoroughly checked for insects and stored cool (50°F) with lots of light.  It is best if fuchias, lantanas and Angel Trumpets are stripped of their leaves.   Keep them just moist.

9. As late summer and fall herbaceous perennials finish and look messy, prune them to the ground and apply compost or manures to build up the soil for next year.

10.   Is fall a riot of colour in your garden? If not, look at all the outdoor colour potential in other gardens and in garden stores at this time of year, from compact Burning Bushes to tall thin fire engine red maples.

Just Posted

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read