The trees may be starting to drop their leaves, but raking isn’t the only task to put on your October gardening checklist – there’s plenty you can do to ensure your landscape is ready for the coming months.

If you’re not sure what you need to accomplish this month, the staff at your local garden center can point you in the right direction. In the meantime, the following list contains all of the most important October gardening tasks.

october gardening

Remove Spent Vegetable Plants

After harvest, remove the vegetable plants in your garden. Taking the time to pull them up helps keep the insects down, as you’re eliminating some of the spots where they might spend the winter.

Dig Up Your Annual Flowers

By October, many of your annual flowers are probably spent. As with the veggie plants, remove them to reduce the chance of your gardens becoming home to pests and insects this winter.

Rototill Your Garden Soil

Once all the spent plants are gone, rototill your soil. Working compost, leaves or manure into the ground enhances microbe activity, which can help improve the quality for next year’s plantings.

Plant Garlic Cloves

Itching to put some new plants in the ground? Garlic cloves can be planted anytime from the middle of October up through the early part of November. Plant the cloves now, and they should be ready for a summer harvest.

Protect Your Landscaping Trees

When the weather gets cold, some trees need extra protection. To prevent the trunks of young landscaping trees from cracking, apply a white reflective tree wrap, purchased from your local garden center. For evergreens, which are susceptible to snow breakage, use a trunk wrap made of burlap or another soft material.

Consider Cold Frame Gardening

Cold frame October gardening allows you to enjoy vegetables and flowering plants throughout the colder season. Build your own enclosed frame, or choose from a selection of kits at your local garden center.

Clean Up Fallen Fruit and Leaves

A key element of October gardening is clean up. Pick up any fallen fruit and discard to help eliminate sites for pests, insects and disease. Keep your lawn and gardens free of leaves, weeds and grass clippings, too. The plant debris can be added to your compost pile.

Continue to Watch for Pests and Disease

Pests and plant disease can still be a problem in the fall, so be on the lookout as you go about your other October gardening tasks. If you spot a potential insect infestation or diseased plants, ask your local garden center staff to recommend an effective treatment plan.

If you have questions or concerns about any October gardening task, stop by Millcreek Gardens and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable garden center staff. Our plant professionals love to share their expertise with fellow northern Utah gardeners.

For expert advice on October gardening – and to shop for cold frames, landscape tools and any other gardening supplies you may need – stop by the Millcreek Gardens plant nursery and garden center in Salt Lake City today.