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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.
 
Flower Gardens
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.
Bulbs
October 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.
 
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.
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 planted.
 
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 year.
 
Lawns
Green Thumb Winterizer should be applied in mid October. Your lawn will be nice and green in the spring.

Trees
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.
 
Vegetable Gardens
Cut dead 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 hour. Yum.
Spider Plant
Indoor Plants
Your 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 the leaves.
Feathered Friends
Clean out bird houses and bird feeders to prevent the spread of diseases for next year’s families.
 

Water Features
   
After October 15, (or when the water temperature falls below 50º F) 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.

Misc.
The warm sunny days of fall are ideal for applying protectants on your redwood, pine or cedar outdoor furniture.

Stay warm while outside with a chimenea or fire pit. These outdoor “fireplaces” will keep you cozy warm while preparing your meal and entertaining outside.
Stop spiders, crickets, millipedes, earwigs and other bothersome bugs from coming into the house for the winter by spraying Green Thumb Home Pest Control around the foundation of your house and especially window wells.
 
 

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