Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in October. (Checklist * Mountain)

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in October. (Checklist * Mountain)

Article excerpt

PLANTING

* COMPANIONS FOR SPRING BULBS. For a more colorful spring display overplant spring-blooming bulbs with early-flowering perennials; the bulbs will grow up between the flowers. Good perennial choices include basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis), common aubrieta, creeping basket-of-gold (Alyssum montanurn), English primrose (P. polyantba), and wall rockcress (Arabis caucasica).

* GARLIC. Choose hardneck types like 'Chesnok Red'. Break bulbs into cloves; plant each clove 4 to 6 inches apart and 3 to 4 inches deep in good garden soil in a bed that receives full sun. Mulch the bed after planting. Filaree Farm (509/422 6940 or www.filareefarm.com) sells many garlic varieties, including 'Chesnok Red'.

* LANDSCAPE PLANTS. Set out hardy ground covers and container-grown tees, shrubs, and perennials no later than six weeks before the ground normally freezes in your area. From fall through winter, water the transplants often enough to keep their rootballs from drying out.

* PERENNIAL TULIPS. Most tulips are short-lived hybrids that last only one or two seasons. But species tulips come back for several years or longer if the bulbs are kept dry over the summer. Among the species tulips that form large colonies over time are T bakeri, T. batalinii, T clusiana, T.c. chrysantha, T. greigii, T. puichella, T. praestens, and T. tarda. A good mail-order source is High Country Gardens (800/925-9387 or www.highcountrygardens.com).

MAINTENANCE

* CLEAN OUT BIRDHOUSES. Wearing rubber gloves, remove and discard nesting material from birdhouses. To help prevent the spread of avian diseases and parasites, rinse birdhouses with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Allow them to dry thoroughly then remount.

* CUT BACK PERENNIALS. After the first hard freeze, cut back perennials such as aster, campanula, daylily, phlox, and veronica, leaving 6-inch stubs above the ground. …

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