October is the perfect time to plant the bulbs that will bring your garden color next spring and throughout the year, says the Dodge City Daily Globe. Most flowering bulbs perform well in conditions with full sun to part shade, and sandy loam or ameliorated garden soils with a pH of 6.0–7.0. Planting depths vary — large bulbs such as tulips should be planted about 6″ deep, while smaller bulbs need as little as 2″ of soil cover. Plant bulbs in clumps for best results in display; they are not “row” flowers like many annuals. Keep the soil moist, add a layer of mulch, and wait for the spring thaw and colorful blooms!
Fall is a great time to do some #planting. Many new trees and shrubs that go in now will have the chance to establish roots before the freeze, giving them a jump start on the new season. “You can get stuff in the ground, and just walk away,” nursery manager Mike Ingalls told Vermont’s Seven Days. “The trees are in place and ready to go in the spring, starting to grow in their forever home. They’re already popping.” What’s more, trees and shrubs planted now will resume their natural growing cycle — and may even show some fall colors before going dormant for the winter.
Now’s the time to clean out #garden beds if you want them to flourish and flower next spring. Pull out annuals and any other plants and shrubs that have died back. Cut the grass one last time, and make it short — shaggy lawns left under snowpack can develop brown patches, Cleveland.com says. Rake up the grass trimmings, dead leaves and other detritus and compost them if they are disease-free; burn or trash suspect material. Mulch flower beds to discourage the growth of weeds in the spring. Finally, clean and sharpen your garden tools — and then relax around the fire pit.
Once your soil is prepared and supplemented with compost and other organic matter, it’s time to plan your plots. Real Simple suggests consulting the USDA’s plant hardiness zone chart before picking out flowers and vegetables; your local garden center can also recommend plants based on how much sun and shade your garden gets. To keep a flower garden blooming throughout the season, mix mostly perennials with a few annuals, says Yard Crashers’ Chris Lambton, and maintain it throughout the season. “It’s also good to plant according to height, making sure that taller plants don’t block the sun from shorter ones.”
Fall is the best time to plant garlic, The Old Farmer’s Almanac says. Prepare the soil for garlic by tilling thoroughly and adding compost or manure. Plant individual cloves from a head of garlic with the point end up 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart, and mulch the bed with straw or leaves. Like onions and leeks, garlic will mature around the summer solstice, sending up a curled, edible flower stalk known as a scape. Harvest garlic about six weeks later, when its above-ground leaves turn brown. Hang the plants in a shady spot to dry for about a month before cleaning and storing the bulbs.