Celebrate the changing seasons—fall is for planting! Our year-round garden centers are well stocked with great plant selections.
For Fresh Color
Replant fading summer flowerpots with winter pansies/violas and ornamental cabbage/kale.
Plant woody shrubs, trees, herbaceous perennials, and spring-flowering bulbs: tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, etc.
Create a fall harvest feel on your porch: Add pots of asters or chrysanthemums and a straw bale with pumpkins or gourds.
For the Lawn & Landscape
If done blooming, cut roses back to chest height to reduce damage from winds (prune more in February).
Place mulch over roots of roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, and berries after a hard frost for winter protection; usually best done late month. We like to use G&B Soil Building Conditioner.
Avoid cutting back ornamental grasses, Black-Eyed Susan, and other plants with late-season seed heads—leave for birds!
Clean annual flower beds to suppress future pest problems: remove diseased plant material (do not add to compost); mulch with manure or garden compost to feed soil and suppress weeds.
Monitor landscape plants for problems; don’t treat unless pest or disease is identified. If moles and gophers are a problem, consider traps or repellants like Bonide MoleMax.
Seed and feed lawns by October 15th so young grass can harden off before winter. Warm soil temperatures kick-start germination, while cool air allows root systems to grow dense and strong and reduces insect/disease issues. Keep seeds moist with morning dews, a thin layer of G&B Soil Building Conditioner, and additional watering, as needed.
Test soil (use home test kit or contact OSU Extension Service). Amend soil to correct deficiencies and improve as needed.
Call a professional to winterize your irrigation system.
For the Edible Garden
Best edibles to plant this month: garlic (bulbs), fava beans, overwintering onions, shallots
Sow cover crop seeds in empty garden beds to improve and protect the soil through winter.
Dig and divide rhubarb every 4 years, then replant and mulch with manure or compost (G&B Harvest Supreme or Malibu Compost). After frost, mulch rhubarb and asparagus beds
with manure or compost.
Prune out dead fruiting canes in raspberries; train and prune primo canes.
Spray apple and stone fruit trees at leaf fall (dormant spray) to prevent diseases. Remove and dispose of windfall apples; can harbor apple maggot or codling moth larvae. Rake and destroy or hot compost diseased leaves (apple, cherry, rose).
Save seeds from summer vegetable/flower garden. Dry, date, label, and store in cool, dry spot for future planting or sharing.
Basic Pruning List
Thin shrubs and trees only as needed; further pruning may result in new growth that won’t harden off before winter.
Remove dead/damaged branches from trees and shrubs and branches that may cause damage from wind or snow and ice.
In the Garden Shed
Clean, sharpen, and oil tools and equipment before storing for winter. Store supplies and fertilizers in a safe, dry place out of reach of children, pets, and critters.
Place fuchsia hanging pots where they won’t freeze; don’t cut back until spring.
For the Indoors
Indoor plant growth begins to slow down in October: Slightly reduce watering frequency as days shorten. Reduce or stop fertilizing and avoid repotting until March.
Check and treat houseplants, tender plants, and tropical succulents for disease and insects before bringing indoors. Bring all tender plants in from outside by mid-October.
To force Christmas cactus to bloom in late December, reduce water, place in cool area (50–55°F), and increase time in shade or darkness to 12–14 hours per day in early October.
Make a fall arrangement with pumpkins: Carve and use as a seasonal planter OR spray uncut pumpkin with craft glue, stick dried moss on top, and glue succulent cuttings onto moss. Embellish with berries/seed pods; mist twice per week.
View the garden tips and checklist for November in the Garden.
Or go back and view the garden tips and checklist for September in the Garden.