Green Thumb Tips
Echter’s Plant Doctors are available
during store hours seven days a week to answer
your gardening questions. For
accurate diagnosis, it helps to bring in a sample.
Pansies planted this month will stay in bloom until the ground freezes. Mulch
them for winter protection and these hardy pansies will be back in flower when
the warm days of spring return. They are great companions for spring bulbs.
- Mums are frost hardy and are a great value for the
spectacular show of color they provide.
- After the foliage freezes on your gladioli, cannas, dahlias, begonias and
other tender summer-blooming bulbs dig them up, brush the dirt off, let
them dry for a few days, then store them in vermiculite or peat moss and
keep the medium moist throughout the winter.
- Planting large pots of garden mums, asters, or flowering kale as you remove annuals from beds
and borders gives you a spectacular show of color immediately.
is the best month to plant your spring-flowering bulbs. Don’t forget
the bulb food, super phosphate or bone meal when you plant the bulbs. Make sure you water them in thoroughly.
- When planting bulbs the
pointed end of the bulb is positioned upward. Plant small, early-flowering bulbs
where they can be seen from indoors, since they bloom when it is usually too
cold to enjoy them outside.
small, early flowering bulbs where they can be seen from indoors, since
they bloom when it is usually too cold to enjoy them outside.
Perennials & Roses
- Plant perennials at the
same time you plant bulbs. You’ll be able to place perennial plants between your
bulb groupings for color from spring to fall.
Many perennials and ornamental grasses add seasonal interest to the garden with
attractive seed heads
and plumes. Choose what you would like to remain intact and tidy
up others by cutting back tall stems to the base foliage.
As the soil cools,
mulch the perimeter of perennials, especially those that have been recently
- Water roses less frequently and stop fertilizing to prepare them for winter
dormancy. Don’t forget to water monthly during the winter if there is no natural
snow or rain.
- Remove any foliage with fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and rust. Discard
in the trash. Cleaning
up now will help prevent a recurrence of the problem next
- Green Thumb Winterizer
should be applied in mid October. Your lawn will be nice and green in the
- In October, deep water
trees and shrubs every three weeks thoroughly.
Do not fertilize trees now.
- October is the best month to select trees and shrubs with fall color. Genetically, plants may differ in their fall beauty, so what you see in the
nursery is what you’ll have in your yard.
- If you see browning needles in your pines and spruces, do not panic. It
is a normal phenomenon. In the fall these plants lose their oldest
needles and keep three or four years of their newest growth.
stalks of asparagus and trim raspberry canes which have borne fruit this
year. Look for the leftover plugs at the top of the canes to tell
which ones fruited this year.
- Pumpkin seeds are a very healthy snack. Clean all fiber from seeds
and soak seeds in salt water overnight. Bake at 250 degrees for one
houseplants will benefit from a good leaching. Take them to your kitchen
sink or bathtub and water twice or three times to remove built up soluble
salts remaining from fertilizer or minerals from the water. If left, these
salts can build up and burn the roots and browning the tips and margins of
Clean out bird houses and bird feeders to prevent the spread of diseases for next year’s families.
- After October 15, (or when the water temperature falls below 50º
feed fish Tetra Pond Spring and Fall Diet. Stop feeding fish once
you see ice along the edges of the water in the morning.
- October is the time to clean the organic matter from the bottom of your
pond. Remember the yucky sludge from your pond makes an excellent
addition to your compost pile.
The warm sunny days of fall are ideal for applying protectants on your redwood,
pine or cedar outdoor furniture.
while outside with a chimenea or fire pit. These outdoor “fireplaces”
will keep you cozy warm while preparing your meal and entertaining
spiders, crickets, millipedes, earwigs and other bothersome bugs from coming
into the house for the winter by spraying Green Thumb Home Pest
around the foundation of your house and especially window wells.