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October 2020 Gardening Tips

09 October 2020

A Garden Tip from Helen...

WOW!! The weather has been just divine!! Even the moisture levels are good, so I hope you have taken advantage of this prime time outdoors to enjoy your garden. This is a great time to catch up on weeding and general sprucing up after the long, hot summer. My summer memories include a monarch (pictured below) enjoying some verbena -- once you have some, you will always have some!!

Bulb Maintenance

I have been busy replanting daffodils, narcissi, and a smattering of smaller bulbs that I dug up after they bloomed last spring. After many years growing in the same bed, the bulbs had multiplied and bloomed less hardily. The time had come to lift them. I am trying to downsize my garden maintenance, so these old bulb gardens might get planted in grass seed next spring. Then again, coreopsis, queen Anne’s lace, bachelor buttons and other wildflowers love to fill in after the bulbs have bloomed!! My planting procedure is one in which I dig large holes and plant many bulbs at the same time. Since all the bulbs are on a level plane, bulbs of the same species will all bloom at the same time producing a greater impact than a singular bloom. When planting, I also like to sprinkle some bone meal in the hole.


It is also time to bring the amaryllises inside if they have enjoyed the summer outside. Place them in a totally dark area for the next two months so they will bloom for you at Christmas. Don’t look at them - don’t water them - leave them alone. They will be fine until December when you bring them back out, water them thoroughly and watch them revive and flower for the holidays.

Rose Maintenance

Near the end of October, unless it stays quite warm, feed your rose bushes one more time. I give each bush one cup of each of these three supplements: Espoma Plant-tone®, Espoma Rock Phosphate, and Espoma Green Sand. Every three years the roses also get one ounce per bush of a soil amendment known as Rich Earth™ Prehistoric Humate. This product contains an interesting mixture of minerals, and I found a local distributor in Norfolk.

Finally, see the happy surprise I found in the garden… I always forget where I put them!!

Happy gardening!




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