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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Gardening Checklist for October

Renee Valdes and Lucy Mercer
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Find out what tasks to do in the garden in October with our gardening checklist calendar ll The Home Depot Garden Club

With an abundance of mums, pumpkins and gourds ripening in the garden and available at your local The Home Depot Garden Center in October, you’ll be tempted to decorate your entryway, porch and landscape with more than one.

Once you’re done decorating, turn your attention to your garden and landscape.

Before the first frost, finish planting trees and shrubs. Urban dwellers can pot up shrubs and conifers in containers for lasting greenery. October is also a great month to plant bulbs for spring, whether tucked in flowerpots or planted around your landscape.

Just remember to clean and put away all your gardening tools so they don’t have to face the elements. When the time is right, empty your hoses, coil and store away for the next season.

ADD FALL COLOR with pumpkins and mums

As pumpkins and gourds ripen in your garden and arrive at The Home Depot Garden Center, place them by your entryway with mums and other fall flowers to punch up your fall decor.

Rake AND mulch leaves

Make leaf cleanup easier by first raking leaves into a pile and then grinding them with a leaf shredder, catching the pieces in a bag or large container. You could also chop leaves using a mower with a bagging attachment.

Spread mulched leaves generously over anywhere you need nutrients added to the soil.

PLANT trees, shrubs and spring bulbs

Early autumn is a great time for planting shrubs and trees. The changing weather gives new plants respite from the soaring temperatures of summer, but the ground is not yet so cold as to restrict root growth. 

Plant bulbs now for spring flowers. Daffodil, hyacinth, crocus and iris are good choices because they come back year after year. Grow tulips close to the house to protect them from deer. For a change of pace, try undemanding alliums, which are hardy to zone 4.

clean and store garden hoses and tools

After deep watering your trees and shrubs, empty your garden hoses and store them away. 

Wipe away excess dirt from trowels, spades, shovels and other garden tools and rub them with multi-purpose oil to prevent rust. Store them in a shed, garage or covered area. 




Invest in plant covers and row covers now to protect tender veggies later during frost. Read more about Pacific Northwest regional gardening tips.


Get one extra round of blooming time for roses by feeding them now. Read more about North California Coastal regional gardening tips.


Plant strawberries mid-month, but resist the urge to pick the fruit during the first year to let the plants become established. You’ll reap a better harvest later. Read more about South California Coastal regional gardening tips.


Change out summer annuals now or as soon as temps begin to cool down. Read more about Southwestern Desert regional gardening tips.



Due to fall’s short growing season, invest in plant covers or floating row covers to extend the season. These also help with critter control. Read more about Western Mountains regional gardening tips.


Clean your bird feeders, then fill and hang them. Birds establish their feeding patterns for winter well before it arrives. Read more about High Plains gardening tips.


Refrain from pruning roses, shrubs, and evergreens this late in the year because trimming now encourages new growth that will suffer winter damage. However, do remove dead branches on plants and any storm-damaged limbs. Read more about Northern Midwest regional gardening tips.


Make use of plant covers and throw them over veggies and herbs in the garden when frost is predicted. Remove during the day. Read more about Central Midwest regional gardening tips.


Harvest potatoes and sweet potatoes now. Mulch strawberry beds and plant lettuces, including spinach, kale, carrots and radishes underneath a cold frame, floating row cover or cloche. Read more about Mid-Atlantic regional gardening tips.


Don’t forget to plant garlic and shallots before the first freeze. Read more about New England regional gardening tips.


Plant lettuce, mustard, collards and turnip greens. Pull up and compost any non-diseased spent annuals. Read more about Upper South regional gardening tips.


Remove the last of the faded rose blooms and trim branches. Plant pansies and fertilize. Cut back mums and asters. Read more about Middle South regional gardening tips.


Divide and re-plant ground covers such as mondo grass and liriope. Read more about Lower South regional gardening tips.


Take time now to fertilize plants that flower in winter. Read more about Coastal and Tropical South regional gardening tips.


Plant aromatic and grilling herbs from seed, including dill, parsley and cilantro. Read more about South Florida regional gardening tips.




Find out what to do in October in your Garden with our checklist ll The Home Depot Garden Club



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