Here is your easy monthly checklist for October garden chores, for both fruit and vegetable gardens, flower gardens, plus basic lawn and yard care. Use as inspiration to guide you to keep up with your yard on your schedule.
October in our northern yards and gardens is a beautiful month with final harvests, all those lovely fall colors, and the full transition from summer to fall.
Sometimes we get an 'Indian Summer' where we'll have sunshine and temperatures in the 70s to enjoy all those lovely colors - and jump into piles of leaves. But there's also cold, rain, and the first frosts for most areas in the north.
This is the month we harvest our squash and pumpkins as well as any remaining summer fruit. Many chores are similar to last month's chores, but I find it takes me into October for me to get them all done!
October is also a great time to start (or finish if you started in September) prepping the garden beds and lawn for the coming colder weather, though that can happen into next month, too.
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Garden Chores for October
Vegetable & Fruit Garden
- Harvest squash & pumpkins (store at 55-60 degrees).
- Harvest & store apples (store at 40 degrees).
- Harvest any remaining tomatoes at green stage (tinged pink) and ripen indoors like this.
- Cover asparagus and rhubarb beds with compost (if rhubarb needs dividing, do it first now).
- Place mulch around berries.
- Plant garlic (if it didn't get planted last month).
- Continue saving seeds from both vegetables and flowers.
- Mulch over azaleas, rhododendrons, and other landscape shrubs for winter protection.
- Dig and store dahlias and gladiolas for the winter (if you want them to survive, otherwise, treat them as annuals like I do).
- Plant ground covers, shrubs and evergreens - fall is a good time for this, as it allows the roots to develop and get plenty of water through the winter.
- Prune evergreens. Here's a pruning guide to help you.
- It's a good time to divide perennials like day lilies and shasta daisies if they're not blooming as much to reinvigorate them.
- Plant spring bulbs like crocus, daffodils and tulips now for spring bloom.
- Clean and oil tools and equipment as you use them for the last time.
- Trap moles and gophers.
- Keep leaves raked from lawn, do a last edging and mow this month.
Note: This October garden chores list is not comprehensive by any means, but meant to provide a jumping-off point to organizing your garden chores. Feel free to print the list and add any of your own specific chores to the sections.
Need more easy gardening tips?
- Organic Vegetable Gardening 101
- How to Plant a Garden the Easy Care Way
- 5 Steps to Take Now For Your Best Garden Ever (with Free Printables!)
Make This Year's Garden A Success!