Grab bag of gardening – more October to-do’s

Mon. Oct. 16, 2017

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Grab bag of gardening – more October to-do’s

Today we’re revisiting some emails I’ve received as they continue to pop into my inbox!   Have you gone plant sale shopping recently and now you don’t have time to plant?  Don’t panic.  Find a spot in your landscape and plant those perennials still in their pots.  Sink them into the ground up to the pot level, keep watered till the ground freezes and mulch.

Then come spring, after you’ve decided where you want to plant them, dig them up carefully and they should be just fine.

Folks have asked about using landscape fabric versus newspaper or office paper.  I’ve found that landscape fabric doesn’t always work the best.  Weeds find a way of growing on top off the fabric and crab grass seems to come up right through it.   Shredded newspaper or office paper that’s been wet down, works quite well.  It’s cheap, it mats down better than the fabric, breaks down eventually and adds organic matter to the soil.  Some businesses are more than happy to give you their shredded paper.  For larger areas use dampened cardboard.  Of course, cover all of these with mulch, or it just won’t look pretty!

Someone asked about pruning shrubs and trees.  Do NOT do general pruning right now.  ONLY prune out diseased branches.

The next question was then whether they needed to disinfect the pruner after each cut since it’s the same tree?  Yes, disinfect it by dipping it into a 10 percent bleach solution, rubbing alcohol or you can use Lysol spray.  Paper towels to wipe are just fine, or a rag.  Clorox sells a bleach free disposable wipe that works as well.  Remember that your hands will also have the bacteria on them.  Wear garden gloves.