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How to Plant Wildflowers
Step by step instructions on how to plant your wildflower seeds.
Find mixtures for your region, or for special uses such as dry areas, partial shade, attracting animals, low growing, and more.
Over 75 choices that will bloom in the second year and for years to come.
Over 110 choices for fast color, such as poppies, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnia, and many more.
Help the birds, bees, butterflies & hummingbirds by planting wildflowers.
Wildflower seeds native to your region. Support local wildlife with native wildflowers.
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Perennial Planting Guide
Step by step instructions on how to plant your bare root or potted perennials when they arrive.
Spring Flower Bulb Planting Guides
Step by step instructions on how to plant your spring-planted flower bulbs when they arrive.
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October is one of our favorite times in the garden: the air is (usually) cool and there is plenty of time to leisurely put the gardens to bed for the winter. It’s also fun because you can add a variety of perennials, bulbs, and wildflowers to the garden for a second season of planting. This helps alleviate some of the stress and madness in spring to get everything done in such a short period of time.
We like to think the more cleanup and planting you do in October, the less you have to do come spring. We’ll go over the most important October garden chores as well as what varieties to add to your garden this fall.
No matter where you live, October is often the magic month for fall planting. Fall is a fantastic time to establish that new perennial garden you’ve been planning, re-seed your wildflower meadow, and create a colorful spring with Fall-Planted Bulbs.
The cooler air and warm ground temperatures make fall an ideal time to add perennials to your garden. Fall-planted perennials will experience less transplant shock and have plenty of time to acclimate their roots to your garden before the winter. Once the ground warms, the new plants will grow bigger and bloom more profusely than if planted in the spring.
Fall is the perfect time to add wildflowers to your garden if you’re in area where the ground freezes for the winter. Plant after there have been a few hard frosts and the seed will stay dormant until the early spring. Fall-planted wildflowers often bloom weeks earlier than if planted in the spring.
Learn how to plant wildflowers in the fall in our article.
Some of the most colorful spring bloomers — including Tulips, Daffodils, Allium, and more — require a wintering over period in order to bloom. So if you’re in an area where the ground freezes, October is the time to get these bulbs in the ground.
Learn more about the life cycle of Fall-Planted Bulbs in our blog.
This stunning collection includes varieties of purple tulips, all with different hues that will bloom from early to late spring. Try planting big displays so your garden remains colo...
This delightful collection includes varieties of pink tulips, all with different shades that will bloom from early to late spring. Try planting big displays so your garden remains co...
This bright collection includes varieties of red tulips, all with different shades that will bloom from early to late spring. Try planting big displays so your garden remains colorfu...
Triumph Tulip Helmar has canary yellow petals with bold streaks of crimson red. This stand out tulip is amazing when planted in large groups or mixed with solid colors. A strong an...
If you’re in a warmer area where the ground doesn’t freeze, order your bulbs and chill them in the refrigerator for 6-12 weeks (depending on the variety). You can then plant them indoors or directly outdoors in your garden beds or containers.
Learn more about forcing Fall-Planted Bulbs in our blog.
While weeding is always an important garden tasks, it’s extra important in the October garden because you’re trying to prevent weeds from going to seed and coming back stronger next season. If you can’t get around to weeding until the early spring, you still should cut back your weeds so they won’t seed and discard the seed heads somewhere they can’t make their way back to the garden. For some gardeners, this is a super-hot compost pile; for others, it's the local landfill!
As your trees start to become bare for the winter, rake up any debris from the gardens and lawn. If you have access to a mower that you can use to chop up your leaf pile into pieces, use the chopped-up leaves as mulch and protection for your garden beds over the winter. Come spring, most of the leaves should have broken down into your soil and anything remaining can be raked out.
Rake leaves from your lawn now to prevent disease and prepare your grass for easy spring growth. If there are bare areas, seed in the fall and cover with a layer of compost for a jumpstart on early spring growth.
Tender bulbs like Dahlias, Gladiolus, and Calla Lilies should be cut back, dug up, and stored for the winter. We recommend storing tubers and bulbs in a cool, dark area of the home. Once there is no more chance of frost in your area you can take them out of storage and re-plant them.
Learn how to dig up and store Dahlias in our blog.
Whether you’re planting in fall or simply want to get your soil prepared for spring planting, October is the time to do it:
If your Bee Balm had mildew or other plants were diseased this past season, October is the time to clean up and remove all infected debris. Cut back any diseased plant all the way to the ground and discard the foliage in a wooded area or trash (anywhere it won’t affect your gardens). Make sure to clean any tools you used for this process before using them on healthy plants. Soak tools in a solution of 9:1 water to bleach for 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly afterwards to prevent corrosion.
October is the time to cut back your perennial gardens to help prevent rot and disease, as well as allow your plants to put out new, healthy growth come spring. Wait to cut your perennials back until the foliage has turned yellow.
Leave Ornamental Grasses, Sedum, Echinacea, and Wildflowers up through the winter. They’ll provide food and shelter for local birds as well as interest and texture in your winter garden. Come early spring, cut them back to get ready for new growth.
Learn more about cutting back perennials in our blog.
Just like fall is the perfect time to plant perennials, it’s also a great time to dig up and divide perennials in your garden that have gotten overcrowded or taken over.
Plants That Can Be Divided In The Fall:
Learn more about how to divide perennials in our blog.
Now that most of the garden has finished for the season, it’s time to take out your garden journal and write notes about what did well and what didn’t. Make yourself several suggestions for next season, like “I felt a lag in the gardens in early June,” or “Keep containers watered every day.” These notes will help you plan for a more successful growing season next year and learn from your past mistakes.
Do you see something you always do in your October garden that isn’t in the blog? Please add it to the comments below for other gardeners to see!
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