Helpful Gardening/Yard Tips for October                 

October weather is still enjoyable in NJ.  Spring bulbs can still be planted now.  Make sure you follow the directions on how deep the bulbs should be planted and incorporate bulb fertilizer with the soil. As with any plant, etc., water  thoroughly.  For existing summer bulbs, after their foliage freezes, dig up tender bulbs to store in cool, dry place.  This includes canna, elephant ears, dahlia, gladiolus and calla lily.

Consider starting composting.  There are many different types of containers and some just make a pile in the backyard.  Your fall leaves can be used as well as many types (not all) kitchen scraps.  Leaves should not be left on your lawn as it can kill your grass and may stain the sidewalk (plus slippery when wet).  Chopped leaves can be used as mulch around perennials and also can be spread on garden plots for wintering over and feeding the soil as they decompose. 

 If you haven’t already done so, fall clean-ups outside can still be done.  Pruning certain perennials is still okay. However, not all plants should be pruned back in the fall.  Some can be left for birds to feed on.  Butterfly Weed, mums and Coral Bells are best left until the early spring to prune.  With shorter days and falling temperatures, many trees and shrubs are preparing for dormancy.  Avoid pruning those items.  If they are pruned, that may cause new growth and this is not the time.  You can prune storm-damaged or dead branches.

If you have not already done so, any houseplants that enjoyed the great summer outdoors should be brought in.  Clean the soil surface to include removing sprouting weeds, dead leaves, etc.  Before bringing in, a light spray from the hose should remove any insects.  Make sure you get the underside as well.  Small plants can be submerged in water for 15 minutes to get the hidden insects to leave or drown. Do not submerge Cacti, succulents or any plant that is already winter-dormant.  Let the soil dry for a few days before moving inside.

Once you are done with your outdoor hose chores but before they freeze, hoses should be stored in a shed, garage or basement.  If you have to leave outdoors, remove watering wands and nozzles and store those indoors.

Now is a good time to inspect the outside foundation and seal cracks and crevices so that insects and small rodents don’t find a place to call home.  Check where utility lines are as well.  Don’t pile things against the house that a mouse, etc., can hide and eventually end up in your home.

Whew!!! Tired yet? Well one more item to remember is this is a great time to seed or reseed your lawn.  Fall fertilizers can be used as well to get your lawn prepared for the winter months ahead. 

Get your firewood now so after all these chores, you will be ready to kick back and enjoy an outdoor fire place, or, clean out the one in the house and start dozing in front of it. Capelli’s has firewood and can deliver.   Happy Autumn!!   Thank you for your patronage, we appreciate our great customers!!

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