Gardener’s To-Do List for October

Our zone-by-zone list will keep you busy this month.


harvesting parsnips

Zone 3

  • After a light frost, begin harvesting sweetened turnips, parsnips, and other late veggies left in the ground.
  • Collect and store flower bulbs—such as gladiolus, freesia, calla, and canna bulbs—after their tops have frozen.
  • Water trees, shrubs, perennials, roses, and lawns before the ground freezes hard.
  • Cut back tender roses to 10 to 12 inches, and remove all foliage so insects and diseases can't winter over.
  • Cover tender, hybrid roses with leaves or straw to protect against winter temperature changes.
  • Harvest late apples before the end of the month.
  • Clean up garden debris before the first snowfall.