by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
Fall Fun - October Gardening Activities There is lots to do in the landscape and garden in October, including planting perennials, shrubs and trees, along with a general cleanup. Most homeowners think of spring as the best time to plant perennials, shrubs and trees in the landscape, but fall is also an excellent time. The soil is still warm, which allows for good root growth, and much of the summer disease and insect pressure is gone. And, of course, donâ€™t forget to plant those spring-f lowering bulbs. You can get some pretty good deals on perennials at the local retail garden center. Some have been there for a couple of months, so before you buy, pull the plants out of their pots and check the root system. A nice, full, healthy white root system will indicate that the plants should have a pretty good chance of becoming established in the landscape. Fall-f lowering perennials such as Aster novi-belgii (Michaelmas
Chelone daisy), mums, Chelone (turtlehead), Helenium (sneezeweed), Helianthus (perennial sunf lower), Heliopsis (false sunf lower) and Sedum (stonecrop) should be available at this time. Coneflowers (Echinacea) are also good perennials to plant in the fall. Gardeners usually think of Echinacea as being purple, but there are a number of really interesting non-purple cultivars. I 83