Northumberland Master Gardeners Share Tasks For Gardens in October

For the October edition of the Northumberland Master Gardener newsletter, in lieu of a meeting report, I asked members to share the October garden tasks they have planned.

Shelly Fredericks shared this: “One thing I enjoy doing in autumn is looking at the photos I’ve taken of my gardens throughout the season.  From studying the photos, I can see where I have some empty spaces for transplanting, planting a new specimen, or more spring bulbs!  Early October is also the time I like to do some lawn repair (seeding bare patches, over seeding, pulling weeds) when the temperatures are a bit cooler yet still warm enough for grass seed to germinate.”

Christa Bisanz is busy with new plants:  “I just purchased two peony roots from The Canadian Peony Society.The roots are called Requiem a white peony with a red Centre and Friendship a light pink with white on the outside of the petals. So looking forward to having them in my garden.  I will also be cleaning up the million marigolds that are still blooming in my vegetable garden by thinning them and deciding where they will look best next year.”

Victor Freiberg shared information about a tree that blooms in his garden in mid September: “It’s nice to have a plant just coming into bloom in mid September when most of the summer bloomers have lost their luster. In September, 2017,   I purchased a Seven Son’s Tree. ( September and October are great months to transplant trees and shrubs, the ground is still warm from summer and the water requirements are far less than in summer)  The Seven Sons Tree  (Heptacodium miconiodes) is fast growing, hardy and has sprays of small white flowers attractive to fall pollinators. It is however, not a native plant, originating from China. After the flowers finish,  the bright reddish seed bracts come into the forefront in October and persist until frost.  In 2017, I purchased this 2 foot tall plant. Today it is over 8 feet tall and takes centre stage in September  and again in October.”

Small White Flowers of the Seven Sons Tree is attractive to fall pollinators

Joy Cullen reminds us that staying on top of Gypsy Moths continues to be important:  “Now is the time to start looking for egg masses of Gypsy Moths, fuzzy tan coloured masses that can be found on trees, outdoor furniture, boats, under eaves of buildings and more. Scrape off the egg masses into a bucket of hot water with bleach or ammonia. Large egg masses area sign of the population increasing. Removing the egg masses is best control. My property had very few gypsy moth caterpillars this spring but neighbours not too far away away were inundated. Just recently I found five large egg masses on my weeping larch tree. The female moth does not fly but the young larva can be carried by wind currents for a distance of up to one kilometer.

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