Your Regional Garden News - Zone 6

October 1 to October 31


Discover what you should be doing right now.  Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.  

Here's what's happening in your gardening region:

Cooler weather in October brings the first frost of the season for most of us. The warm weather annuals and vegetables are cleared out making way for those cold tolerant fall crops and flowers. Here some things to do in your garden in October:


    Learn about Cover Crops

    Using Cover Crops: Organic gardening includes creating a great medium for the plants to grow in as well as using a variety of natural amendments to enrich the soil. Cover crops, also known as green manures, are a way to keep the soil covered as well as add nutrients for next year’s crop of vegetables.


    Pick the right Cover Crop

    There are cover crops for warmer areas that are different to those in the cooler areas. Pick the one that works best for your location. Also look to the nutrients that the cover crop will deliver – a general mix yields multiple much needed minerals whereas a legume pack accumulates high levels of nitrogen which some vegetables enjoy.


    Season Extenders

    With the first frost likely in October it is time to dig out those blankets and covers to get an extra week or two from the garden. Don’t wait until the last minute to get some tunnel covers and floating covers for your garden.


    Extending the season

    Typically the first few frosty nights are followed by another week or two of moderate temperatures. Protecting the garden from the frost gives you a little more time to enjoy those annuals and gives just enough time to ripen the last few tomatoes. Read about some of the ways to extend the season.


    Order garlic, fruit & bulbs

    Many things can be planted in fall including garlic, bare root trees and spring bulbs. Make sure that you place you orders early so that you can plant them as soon as the soil temperatures drops – usually late October to early November. Now is the time to place your orders!

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Everyone knows lawn clippings, dead leaves and vegetable scraps can be tossed on to the compost pile to ultimately become rich organic matter for enhancing garden soil. But did you know there is a long list of other materials that will enhance a compost pile? Try tossing the following organic recyclables onto the compost heap:
    • dryer lint (especially from cotton towels, sheets and clothing)
    • dog or cat fur (great for owners of golden retrievers!)
    • cereal and cracker boxes (take out the wax paper liner, rip cardboard into strips and moisten before adding to compost pile)
    • shredded newspaper
    • ground corn stalks
    • wood chips
    • sawdust
    • rinsed seaweed
    • guinea pig or hamster manure (plus natural-material bedding)
    Never compost dog or cat waste, bones, oil, grease, fat, invasive weeds, wheat with seeds or wood ashes.