tofino gardening in october

Tofino Gardening in October 2003

by Trina Mattson, Tofino


Well the cooler weather has definitely arrived, most of the trees in the garden centre are starting to turn their glorious fall colours, vibrant reds, yellows and oranges greet me in the morning as I open the gardens for the day. This is a great time to come in and check out the fall colours available.

The birds are back and are picking seeds out of the feeders and the sunflower plants that volunteered themselves in my rose garden. And everything is looking decidedly like fall, so I know there are still things to be done in the garden.

The bedding plants are now all tired in gardens and planters and should be pulled out and composted, but mums, asters, winter pansies, sedums and ornamental kale are now in bloom and available for sale, so there is fall colour available.

Any hanging baskets that are looking tired should be retired for the winter, if they are wood, then it is best to remove all the plant material and soil from the basket, clean them out and store them in a dry place over the winter, this will help to give the basket a longer life, bugs won‚t have a place to nest, and disease has less chance of survival.

As tender summer bulbs (dahlia, tuberous begonias etc.) finish their cycle, they should also be pulled up, cleaned and properly stored over the winter, or if you garden like I do, I have all my bulbs in containers and use a soil less mix, I put them in the greenhouse or store them in a dry area over the winter, and let them die back in their pots, water only about once a month and only a little, until spring and new growth begins.

At this time we are also starting to cut the grass less and less, and there will be only a few mowing left until the ground becomes too soggy to walk on. Keep raking up those leaves from the trees, and the leaves from the rose beds still need to be gathered as well.

Roses should be lightly trimmed at this point, but not too much, just enough to keep the long stems from being bruised from the winds, any real pruning should be done in the spring.

Reduce the amount of food given to your fish at this point as they are not fully able to digest food during the cooler months, and it either just sits in their system or lies on the bottom of the pond and rots which creates an unhealthy environment for the fish. Pond plants will need to be either trimmed up, or have there spent leaves and flowers removed from the pond to keep from rotting on the bottom.

Any tools that need to be cleaned and sharpened should be done at this time. Also they too should be properly stored over the winter.

Take notes on what did well and what you want to do again, or what you may want to change for next year.


Trina Mattson runs the OCN Garden Center in Tofino. You can reach her by phone at (250) 725-4450.

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Tofino garden tips for October 2003 by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery for Tofino Time Magazine.

tofino time october 2003

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