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Pots with Fall Plants and Pumpkins

October In The Garden

orange chrysanthemum

Tasks This Month

October is when summer’s hot temperatures have finally left and now we can get so much done this month! We’ll talk pumpkin and winter squash harvest, citrus care, and more on the best planting time of the year for trees and shrubs.

Our gurus are here to help you find just the right plants, and we are excited to share October with you!
Pumpkins & Squash
Pumpkins and winter squash were planted nearly five months ago, and it’s time to get them ready for recipes and decorating. Harvest is best when vines are yellow or dry, and stems are brown and dry. Give a good thump with your fingers for that hollow sound saying it is ripe. Using a sharp knife to cut stems, be sure to keep at least one inch of stem attached to prevent bacteria from entering the fruit.

Pumpkins and squash are perfect for long term storage, so cleaning and curing are important steps. Wash them after harvest to remove any surface bacteria that can cause rot, and then allow two to three weeks to cure in an airy spot, out of direct sunlight. Space each so they do not touch, and everything should stay fresh for many months to come.
pumpkin in patch
Citrus Care
Citrus appreciates attention this month to ensure a good healthy harvest in winter. Fertilize in October, and then don’t fertilize again until next February. Pull mulch away from the base to keep insect populations down and prevent the base from rotting.

Most important is to thin the fruit in October. Too much fruit can stress and break a branch. Thinning also allows for larger fruit by reducing competition. When thinning, cut the fruit, do not pull to avoid stripping tree and branch bark.
Fall Is For Planting
October is prime time for planting new trees and shrubs. Temperatures are cooler and the soil is warm, giving new plants months to mature before next summer’s heat returns. Mature plants are able to fight off sunburn, disease and insects more efficiently when they are given time to develop large root zones and canopies.

Read on for more information on Why Fall Is Ideal For Planting.

To give your new planting the best start possible, we have excellent advice on how to choose and prepare your site with our Tree Planting Guide.

Other Tasks This Month

Winter veggie starts and seeds are here and ready for your cool-season garden. Check our Veggie Planting Calendar to see what to put in the ground right now.

Fertilize and add mulch to caneberry and blueberry plants.

Bring pictures of your established plants with you to the nursery to ask our gurus about specific pruning needs to encourage greater health, vigor, and flowering.

Bareroot season is just around the corner, and now you can preorder Bareroot Roses and Bareroot Fruit Trees to pick up as soon as they arrive in stores—by early January.

Quick and easy brighteners for your pots and planting beds are here with our Cool-Season Annuals Collection.
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