Paxson Hill Farm

    It’s official! 

    The dog days of summer are long gone and fall has arrived in full force. 

    Blue skies return as cooler days become the norm. 

    Reds, yellows and earthtones begin to take over the garden as pumpkins, gourds and cornstalks prepare us for Halloween. 

    You can almost smell the apples ready for picking at the farm market next door. 

    Mums are just starting to crack color, so shop early for the best selection!

    Now that we can let go of the watering can, let’s talk garden tasks for October!

    Get those trees, shrubs and perennials in the ground!

    Now is ideal planting time for hardy trees, shrubs and perennials, and for the month of October all of our nursery stock is 20% off!

    Dig your hole and loosen the soil to 2-3 times the width of the rootball, and to no more than the same depth as the pot it’s grown in. 

    For heavy clay soils, it’s advisable to plant slightly high to ensure better drainage (an inch or so is fine). 

    No need to add compost, peat moss or fertilizer for trees and shrubs –  research shows that too rich of a planting hole makes the roots too cozy, thus they never extend their reach to native soil. A root enhancer can work wonders to ensure successful transplanting.

    Cut back spent perennials and annuals to tidy the garden

    Leave sturdy seedheads of plants like Coneflowers, Black-eyed Susan, Coreopsis and tall Stonecrops standing. 

    Not only do they provide the perfect landing for freshly fallen snow, but they serve as an important food source for chickadees, sparrows and finches. 

    Unless they’ve toppled or splayed, ornamental grasses can be left standing to provide much needed food and cover for wildlife and winter interest.

    Plant spring blooming bulbs

    “Dig, drop and done,” as they say. 

    Fall bulb planting is one of the easiest tasks to perform now for a show of bold color come spring. 

    For extra bang for your buck, choose bulbs with a tendency to naturalize over time.

    Early bloomers like Siberian Squill, Crocus, and Dwarf Reticulate Iris, in shades of deep to pastel blues and yellows, will spread over time to color up the early spring garden. 

    With no more effort than just gently tossing a handful and planting them where they land, these little ones will provide year after year of color before anything else in the garden!

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