University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
HARVESTING BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND
OTHER OCTOBER GARDENING TIPS
Charlie Nardozzi, Senior
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
Brussels sprouts, leaving seedheads on some flowers, and shredding
some of the gardening activities for this month.
Brussels sprouts, resembling little
"cabbages", will continue to ripen and sweeten through the cold snaps
so harvest whenever you're ready to eat them.
If some of the sprouts get frozen almost solid, cook them right away or
pop them in the freezer.
Rudbeckia, sedums, ornamental
grasses, and other perennials with long-lasting seedheads will feed the
if you leave the plants standing. They are also beautiful under a light
Poppy seeds will germinate in early
spring if you sow them now in bare soil. Rake the soil lightly and
seeds, tamp them down gently, and water. The rest is up to Mother
If you use raked leaves to top your
annual veggie and flower beds or add them to the compost pile, speed up
decomposition process by mowing over them first with a lawn mower to
Plants that you moved inside for the
winter might harbor insects, and it can take a few weeks before they
obvious. Check plants every week and isolate and treat any that have
scale, spider mites, or aphids -- the most common hitchhikers.
Christmas cactus needs either long
nights or cool temperatures (or both) to initiate flower buds. You can
in a closet or room that stays completely dark from sunset to sunrise
light during the day) until new flower buds reach 1/8-inch long (at
weeks). Or move your plant to a cool location that stays between 55 and
degrees (F). Water just enough to keep the plant from wilting (the
feel limp), and hold off on fertilizer until buds form. Then move the
into your living space and water whenever the soil is dry to the touch.
Planted spring-flowering bulbs
yet? If not, do so soon as the bulbs
need a few weeks before soil temperatures drop too cold in order to
roots. Keep in mind most tulips are
annual, blooming well for only the first year.
Planting deeper (below 6 inches deep) may help them come back in future
years, or you can buy tulips marked as "perennial" varieties.
Now is a good time to pot up some
bulbs for "forcing" into bloom next winter or spring. If you want
in raised beds or large
containers, pot them now in pots about 6 inches across, then sink in
and cover with straw. Mark your calender
to remove them in spring when they start emerging, then relocate where
Visit an apple orchard for picking
your own apples for eating, cooking, drying, freezing, or making your
cider. Local apple farms make a great
weekend outing, often with great food and cider if you don't have time
ability to make your own. Check online for orchard listings and links
Don't forget to buy some pumpkins at
farm stands for painting, carving and pies.