October Gardening Tasks – What To Do In Midwest Gardens

Dad And Daughter Raking Leaves
(Image credit: XiXinXing)

Upper Midwest garden chores in October are limited but still important. This is the time to extend the plants that still have some life in them and prepare everything for winter. Take care of chores in the flower beds, vegetable gardens, and lawn. 

Managing Flowers in October in Midwest Gardens

Flowers are close to being done blooming in the upper Midwest in October, but there is still a lot to do for annuals, perennials, and bulbs: 

October Vegetable Gardening To-Do List

Your vegetable patch needs some care in October. Plant some cold-tolerant crops like radish, carrots, spinach, and kale, or just clean up the beds. Harvest winter squashes when the stems brown and start to dry. Remove spent plants and compost them. If there are any signs of disease, throw the plants out. Prepare the soil for next year by mixing in compost or other organic matter. 

October Gardening Tasks for Midwest Lawns

Your upper Midwest lawn is getting ready to go dormant for winter, but there are still things to do this month: 

Taking Care of Trees and Shrubs in October

October is a good time to put in new trees or shrubs. They have time to develop roots now without the stress of summer heat. Water these new plants regularly so the roots grow strong and deep. Wrap the trunks to protect them from deer

Trees that tend to bleed and could be damaged by spring pruning can be trimmed now. These include maple, birch, oak, locust, mountain ash, and black walnut. Put mulch around the trunks of trees and shrubs to hold moisture in the ground. 

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.