Your October gardening tasks list

Much of the October list of garden tasks is taken from the OSU Extension Publication, HLA-6408—Landscape Maintenance Schedule with additional information added. This maintenance schedule is a checklist which emphasizes prevention rather than remediation. Some of the topics mentioned below have individual fact sheets which are available at

Gardening: Plant spring-flowering bulbs now in well-drained soils with good sunlight. Planting depth is two times the bulb diameter. Dig and store tender bulbs and tubers in a cool dry place. Continue planting pansies, kale, cabbage, snapdragons and other cool-season annuals.

Trees: Container-grown shade trees and pines are most successfully planted in the fall. Broadleaf evergreens or bare-root-plants are best planted in the spring. For more information, see OSU Fact Sheet HL6414 Planting Trees and Shrubs.

Lawn: In mid-month, fertilize cool-season lawns. Seeding of cool season grasses for perennial lawns can continue through mid-October. Continue mowing cool-season lawns on a regular basis, even if warm-season grasses have quit growing. Remove leaves from cool-season grasses or mow with mulching mower. To learn more about year-round care for your lawn, see OSU Fact Sheet HLA-6420 Lawn Management in Oklahoma.

Weed Control: October is an excellent time to control broadleaf weeds in well established warm or cool-season lawns with a post-emergent broadleaf weed killer. DON’T apply to seedling fescue.

Water Gardens: Clean up marginal water garden plants after the first frost kills the tops. Place a net over the water garden to prevent leaves from falling in the water.

Vegetables: When using pesticides, verify that it is suitable for your plants.

Overall: Remove diseased plant material from the landscape to reduce disease problems next year.