No matter what season or what's going on around the world, there is always something to do in the garden. After harvesting the final fall vegetables, there are going to be chores that include pruning, tidying, and basic preparation for the next season of planting and harvesting.
While you are waiting for the next planting season, here are some things to do in the garden in October:
- Prune broken or diseased limbs.
- Weed out unwanted plants that are growing in the garden.
- Clean garden tools. Wash them and apply a light coat of oil to them to keep them from rusting.
- Protect semi-hardy plants with fleece or bring them into a frost-free environment such as a greenhouse or if you don't have a greenhouse, simply bring them indoors.
- Harvest mature vegetables before the end of the month.
- For hardy vegetables that will be left to mature over the winter, heavily mulch the soil. This will add a layer of protection against frost and freezing temperatures.
- For semi-hardy vegetables harvest and store in a cool place.
- Clean up garden debris.
- Collect spent leaves to shred and use as compost.
- Clean up all fallen vegetables so that you reduce disease and pest problems.
- Plant fast-maturing cold weather, hardy vegetables.
- Sow a cover crop of winter rye, clovers, cow peas, or soybeans. In the spring, you will plow the cover crop under the top soil. During the harsh weather season, these cover crops add rich nitrogen to the soil which provides food for the following garden crops. Cover crops also help to control weeds. In the spring, use the clippings to add nitrogen to compost, speeding the breakdown of fall leaves.
- Get rid of slugs using slug bait.
As you are planning, take into consideration what was planted previously and in order to have the most productive harvest, plant according to crop rotation guidelines, as shown in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publication for crop rotation.