Wisconsin Gardner’s Seasonal Monthly Tips for October 2021

October winds blow and the humidity is well out of the air. The nights are becoming longer and earlier, and we may even have snow. There are still daylight hours and many of nature’s beauty springs to life in October so don’t let this gorgeous month go to waste and don’t let those lawns and landscapes go to waste either. Stop in and see what we can help with at Heritage Hill Nursery in Cedarburg, WI. 


  • If you do any planting in October, do it early. The perennials will have time to establish and there won’t be as much of a chance they get killed by the winter season.
  • Clean up and remove diseased or bug infested leaves, flowers, or stems. Decide what “look” you want for your winter garden. Some like it clean, neat, and tidy and some like to leave all the dead stuff lying around for it to cultivate into the soil. Either is fine it’s more of a personal preference.
  • Continue to water in October until the ground freezes. Newer plantings and most transplants need your attention all through the fall season.


  • Water your shrubs until the ground freezes. Don’t continue to fertilize, this is to be done again in the spring.
  • You can continue to plant shrubs if they are available to buy, and the ground is still workable. The cool temps make this a great time for planting as it relieves the stress on the shrub.
  • Rake up dead leaves and leave them on the lawn for fertilization. Make sure they’re not diseased in any way. If you do have diseased leaves from shrubs, bury them, the ground will consume them. The diseased leaves are a prime source for infection in the upcoming spring season. Make sure you bury them away from any gardens or landscaping.


  • October is a wonderful time to plant new trees. The soil is warm and air temps are cool and your trees are in place and ready to take off in the spring.
  • Water new trees and existing trees until the ground freezes. Fertilization in October is good for existing trees. Wait a year to fertilize new trees.
  • Keep pruning your trees in October.
  • Remove crossed, broken, or diseased branches. Make cuts where a branch joins another branch above a healthy bud or flush with the branch bark collar.


  • Make sure new plantings of lawn seed are watered.
  • Keep soil surfaces moist and continue to water thoroughly, but less frequently when the sod is rooted into the soil below. Keep in mind your lawn is still growing full force in October. Many don’t realize this.
  • October or the fall season is when lawns use up their energy to spread and develop deeper root systems.
  • And keep mowing as long as the grass continues to grow. For a healthier lawn you shouldn’t cut any more than 1/3 the total height at each cutting.

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