Alsip Home & Nursery Gardening Calendar for October

As most plant material is going dormant there are a few tips for gardeners that will benefit them for the winter and help them flourish in the Spring.

1.  Apply an additional layer of mulch to perennials, roses, hydrangea, and clematis.  This will help insulate the root systems and keep them from freeze burning over the winter.

2. Now is the time to perform a dormant pruning of trees and shrubs  This involves thinning out dead branches on shade and ornamental trees and shrubs like dogwoods, spirea, and potentilla.

3. After a good frost most perennials can be cut down to an inch or so from the ground.  Add mulch to the top of the root system and previously stated.

4. An application of Preen or Treflan to your landscape beds will prevent early season weeds from germinating.

5. The final application of lawn fertilizer should be applied before the lawn freezes.

6. Plant spring bulbs like tulips , daffodils, and crocus this month until the ground is frozen.

7. Evergreens should be kept watered on a weekly basis if need to insure the root systems freeze “wet”.

8. Apply Deer and Rabbit repellents like “Plantskyd” to and around plant material that is susceptible to winter damage from foraging.

9. The use of Wilt-Proof and Wilt-stop is recommended on Boxwood, Azalea, Rhododendron, Arborvitae, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Hydrangea, and Japanese Maples.  This will help prevent moisture loss from drying winds in the winter.  This application should be done before Thanksgiving and again in January or February if the weather gets above 40 degrees.

Additional Tips: Save the seeds that you scoop out of your Halloween jack-o-lantern. Spread them out and dry them on a tray or paper plate. Now you have the choice to bake them as tasty treat or put them out for the birds. A platform bird feeder displays and holds them well. Cardinals in particular relish this treat.

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