Gardener’s To-Do List for October

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

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raking leavesZone 5

  • Thin out one-third of the oldest branches of forsythia, lilac, spirea, and potentilla for better bloom and shape next spring.
  • Dig up tender tubers and corms of dahlias, cannas, caladium, and gladiolius.
  • Don't cut back ornamental grasses, sunflowers, and wildflowers—leave them for winter interest and for wildlife.
  • Collect leaves to shred (with a shredder or mower) and compost.
  • Clean up all fallen fruits to reduce disease and pest problems.
  • Work well-rotted manure or compost into asparagus beds.
  • Dig up geraniums and bring them indoors for the winter.
  • Pot up some paperwhite bulbs for holiday forcing.
     
 
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