Maintenance Calendar – October

Maintenance Calendar

Compiled by Linda Lee,
WSU Master Gardener


January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


~ October ~

winter rye cover crop

  • If you haven’t already done so, plant a cover crop in your vegetable garden. This not only keeps weeds down but when tilled into the soil adds much needed organic nutrients. Such crops as rye, legumes etc., will keep your vegetable garden soil nice.
  • Stores and nurseries are now bursting with bulbs. Choose the plumpest, firmest bulbs and get them in the ground right away.
  • October is still a good time to plant trees, shrubs, giving them a running start on the next summer season. Throughout the Northwest, this is the best perennial planting time. Plants put into the garden now will have the entire winter to adjust, and then shoot into action the instant weather warms in the spring. If the weather is hot and dry, water newly set out plants.
  • creeping oxalis Continue to deadhead and feed one last time early in the month. If a frost hits, pull annuals and cut back frozen leaves and toss them on the compost pile. Never put anything diseased on the compost pile. It has to get very hot to kill fungi, and other diseases. Weeds such as Creeping Oxalis, Shot Weed, and those that spread by underground runners should be trashed, not put on the compost pile.
  • Water until the rains begin, and water established plants deeply. Drought stressed plants are far more apt be damaged in a hard freeze. The myth of withholding water from plants in the fall is just a myth. The shorter days and cooler nights tell the plants to begin their preparations for winter’s dormancy period.
  • Keep an eye out for pests such as rodents. As the weather cools, they look for warm spaces in which to winter. The places you store potatoes and winter squash are particularly attractive.