What To See and Do in the Zone 6 October Garden


The month opens with colored leaves and warm days, but we’ll end with chilly winds and leafless trees for Halloween. Get out into the garden and watch the changes!

What to See

serviceberry orange leaves

The orange leaves of serviceberry are just one of the brilliant colors in the garden this time of year.

What to Do

  • Start planting bulbs. Although they can be planted into late fall and early winter, October is the ideal time to plant spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Finish up planting perennials, shrubs, and container grown trees. October is a terrific time to divide perennials too.
  • Continue routine garden maintenance such as deadheading, weeding, and very light pruning. Heavy pruning should now wait until late winter.
  • Keep the lawn mower set at 3”, and mow the leaves right into the lawn or rake the chipped leaves into beds as mulch.
  • Harvest your fall produce, including Brussels sprouts, pumpkins, winter squash, and the last of tomatoes.
  • Plant a cover crop in the kitchen garden to replenish the soil. Red clover, winter wheat, alfalfa, and winter rye are all good choices.





Amy graduated from DePauw University with a degree in physics, a lifelong love of theatre, and a problem-solving style that combines the approaches from both those fields. A Master Gardener and long-time communications professional, Amy conducts gardening seminars and blogs about gardening in addition to her work with Spotts.

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