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Master Gardener: Gardening ideas for October 2013

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Gardening ideas for October

1. Harvest your warm weather crops (tomatoes, peppers, egg plants cucumbers, summer squash) if you still have any after the rains. Wait for dry weather to harvest winter squash and pumpkins. They will keep better when stored dry.

2. Clean all the weeds from your garden. It will save you a lot of weeding next spring. Do not put weeds with seeds in your compost pile. The seeds will come up after you use your compost to improve your soil. Dispose of these weeds by burning them or just put them on a pile to rot.

3. You can still plant a winter garden from vegetable starts available at some nurseries. These include cabbage, kale, broccoli, lettuce, swiss chard, parsley and spinach. It is too late to plant to plant these from seeds unless you have a green house. Kale is especially hardy and can provide greens all winter even in the snow.

4. Bring in all your tender plants you want to save over the winter and put them in the garage or a sheltered area.

5. Plant spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and crocuses by the end of October so they have a chance to get established. Make sure the drainage is good. You can also put chicken wire cages around the bulbs to protect them from moles.