Rocky Mountain Gardener's October Checklist

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October is the beautiful bridge month between autumn and winter. The times are noticeably shorter, bright and trendy. October is a busy month in the garden, the opportunity to get ready for the harsh snow and cold of winter when enjoying every minute you can spend outdoors.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Winterize water features. The freeze-and-thaw cycle of chilly weather can wreak havoc on these valuable garden resources. To decrease the harm:
Drain, clean and store or cover freestanding fountains and water containers. Remove plant debris from ponds and also establish a bubbler (a submersible pump with a brief piece of pipe connected to the socket) to maintain some of the water with no ice. Disconnect pumps to recirculating waterfalls, particularly if the water volume is rather low. Ice buildup can divert water and cause problems. Moving water will create your pond rancid, which may be a problem if you have fish.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Get ready for snow. If you haven’t had frost or snow still, you will shortly. Early snows tend to be heavy and wet, and may damage plants — particularly those that haven’t lose their leaves however. Keep a broom handy and be ready to sweep away the snow to lighten the load on tree and shrub branches.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Winterize your watering system. Frozen pipes or components can be costly and inconvenient to fix. To prevent this:
Drain your irrigation system and insulate the backflow preventer.Remove hoses from faucets and drain them. Store hoses and sprinklers at a convenient place for winter watering.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Remove leaves from lawn areas. Leaves left on yard areas will compact beneath the snow, smothering the yard and contributing to disease issues like snow mold.
Use leaves entire or shred them with your lawnmower or a commercial shredder.Add them to your compost pile now or stockpile them for future use.Use leaves as a mulch, 4 to 6 inches deep. Apply now to fresh planting areas to maintain soil warmth and allow better root development, use to bare ground areas to reduce erosion, or employ after the ground has frozen to reduce frost heave and early soil warming in spring. Keep leaf mulch 6 inches away from the bases of shrubs and trees to prevent harm from rodents. It is important to remove any diseased foliage in the garden completely — do not compost it.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Amend the ground. Planning to put in a fresh vegetable or flower garden next spring? Now’s a fantastic time to prepare the soil. Use organic alterations to boost water- and nutrient-holding capacity and also to improve aeration and water flow. Adding alterations now allows you to operate in the backyard while the soil is relatively dry, thus preventing the possibility of soil compaction that can happen if you attempt to perform it through the wet months of spring. Come springtime the dirt will be ready to plant.
Amendments must be mixed well into the ground — spade or rototill to a depth of 6 to 2 inches.Composts and obsolete manures function best for sandy soils; sphagnum peat or wood chips are best for clay.Incorporate 3 cubic metres of change per 1,000 square feet of soil. (That is approximately 8 cubic feet of amendment for a 10-foot from 10-foot area of soil.Mulch the mattress with a couple of inches of leaves or stained wood to help prevent soil erosion during the winter.

Beautiful purple and bones stones

Love puttering. Pull weeds and spent annuals, plant bulbs and harvest herbs and cool-season veggies for heavy meals. Most importantly, spend time with friends and family surrounded by nature’s October shine!

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