- Plant onion sets, garlic, cabbage, collards, swiss chard and kale.
- Watch for and treat green worms on broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and collards.
- Wrap green tomatoes individually in newspaper and store them in a cool dry place before the first frost for fresh tomatoes into December.
- Pumpkins and winter squash store better if they are harvested with a few inches of stem remaining intact.
- A great resource is the planting calendar for Central North Carolina covering vegetables, fruits and herbs.
Perennials, Annuals & Bulbs
- Continue to dig and divide spring and early summer blooming perennials before the foliage dies back. Daylily, hostas and shasta daisies are some examples.
- Place identification markers beside herbaceous perennials before they die back for the winter, so they won’t be disturbed when planting in the spring.
- Clean, crushed eggshell may be sprinkled around hostas, Lamb’s ear and other plants that slugs adore.
- Plant pansies, snapdragons and ornamental vegetables for fall color.
- Plant spring-blooming bulbs from late October through December.
- Keep your bulbs in the refrigerator until you’re ready to plant them.
- Elephant ears and Caladium bulbs:
- Dig up and store.
- Keep in dry peat moss in a cool place to replant next spring.
- Paper whites and Amaryllis bulbs:
- Plant late this month and early November.
- Allow six weeks from the time you plant for the flowers to open.
Trees, Shrubs & Groundcovers
- Plant new trees and shrubs.
- Start that fall leaf pile.
- Watch for and treat lacebugs on azalea and pyracantha.
- Fertilize your roses, if you didn't do this in September.
Lawn & Landscaping
Plant cool season grasses like tall fescue.
- Rake newly seeded lawns weekly to prevent leaves from smothering the new grass.
- Aerate lawns. Coring lawns, subject to heavy traffic and/or clay soil, will help to minimize compaction and improve rooting.
- Build a leaf pile and improve your garden soil.
More Fall Tasks
- If your water garden is small, cover it with a tight mesh netting to keep leaves out of the pond.
- Start a compost pile:
- Make use of all those falling leaves and have compost ready to work into the garden next spring. Remember: don't add weeds or diseased foliage, and stems go in the compost pile.
- Houseplants that spent the summer outdoors should be cleaned up and brought indoors when night temperatures fall below 50 degrees.
- Check for insects and spray well with water to wash off insects and their eggs.
- Fill your birdfeeders and birdbaths for migrating friends flying south.
- Leave seed-bearing perennials – i.e., ornamental grasses, coneflower, sunflowers, black-eyed Susan – to feed the birds and to provide cover for beneficial insects over the winter.
- Gather materials for winter arrangements; hang them upside down to air-dry in a warm dark room -- try salvia, Silver King artemisia, purple coneflower, goldenrod, hydrangea, lamb's ears, zinnia and ornamental grasses.