October gardening is often our favorite time to garden. The weather is cooler, the colors are just as bright, and we love planning for next year. You may find that your garden beds are looking pretty thin and are in desperate need of some color. Simply taking an assessment of your garden now and getting it ready for next year will help ensure a successful spring.
Surprisingly there are still a lot of gardening to-dos before the snow starts to fly and the ground freezes. So, here’s are some of the to-do’s that will help you get your garden ready.
Bring Herbs Inside
Herbs are generally a perennial plant that can be grown year-round. However, they generally are big fans of freezing or cold temperatures. As the weather gets cooler those delicate herbs need to be brought inside to protect them from the nasty weather. If you’ve planted them in pots simply put them in your brightest window and keep them watered regularly. If they were planted in the ground you can transplant them into pots, just make sure you aren’t damaging the roots.
Plant Onion and Garlic Bulbs
Once your vegetable garden is done producing for the year, we often recommend replacing older plants with garlic and onion bulbs. It’s a good transition from a spring and summer garden to a fall and winter garden. Planting garlic and onion bulbs are actually quite easy and require very little work. Simply separate and space the cloves 4-6″ apart. Rows should be spaced one foot apart. Make sure to plant the cloves with the pointed end up and the blunt end down. Push each clove 1-2″ into the ground, firm the soil around it, and water the bed if it is dry. That’s it and the next step is to pick the garlic in the spring.
Planting Flower Bulbs
Just like planting garlic and onion bulbs, flower bulbs are planted when the ground cools down in October. Flower bulbs come in many different varieties and it’s important to choose wisely. You’ll want to select a large assortment of bulbs that bloom at different times during the season. This will ensure you are getting a color show all spring and summer long! The best time to plant is the last week in October or when the nighttime temperatures are consistent in the 40’s.
Watching the weather
As we all know the weather in Colorado can change at any moment so keeping an eye on the weather is important. If snow or freezing temperatures are in the forecast, you’ll want to get those little plant babies covered up to protect them. We suggest using a burlap or a frost protection cover that covers the plant and the soil. Adding mulch to the base of the plant will help keep those roots protected all winter long.
Turn off and drain sprinklers
You’d be surprised at how often this gets overlooked. The last thing you want to happen is your hose or sprinkler line freezes and potentially breaks. For hoses, stretch them out on a sunny day along with a slight grade so they will drain nicely and be warm and pliable for coiling and storage. For sprinkler systems, it’s best to get a professional to blow them out. That way you’ll ensure that there is no water left in them. Give our landscaping department a call if you’d like to schedule a sprinkler system blowout.