October 2018

October Garden Calendar
Plants in Flower 
  • Aster, Goldenrod, Chrysanthemum, and Franklinia Plants with Colorful Berries American Beauty Berry, Burford Holly, Chinese Holly, Foster Holly, Nellie Stevens Holly, Nandina, Pyracantha, and Washington Hawthorn 
  • Fertilize spring flowering bulbs at planting time with a balanced fertilizer. 


  • Plant spring flowering bulbs like daffodil, tulip, crocus and hyacinth this month. 
  • October is a good time to set out new landscape plants. 
  • Plant or transplant peonies this month. 
  • Continue planting pansy plants now. 
  • If you do not have a fall vegetable garden, plant cover crops like annual rye, barley and wheat. You can start salad vegetables in a cold frame and enjoy them all winter. Plant lettuce, green onions, carrots, radishes, and most leafy greens inside the cold frame. 


  • Cut back herbaceous perennials after frost has killed the tops. 
  • Rootprune any trees or plants you plan to move next spring. 


  • Control the following woody weeds by spraying the recommended herbicide: trumpet creeper and blackberry. 
  • Store your garden pesticides in a secured, dry location that will not freeze. Clean spray tanks. 

Lawn Care 

  • Keep newly seeded areas watered. 
  • Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn. 
  • You can still seed fescue and bluegrass early in October. 


  • Remember to check the cuttings you put in a coldframe for winter. This should be done twice a month. 
  • Water as needed. 
  • Dig and divide rhubarb. 

Specific Chores 

  • Take soil samples from your plant beds and vegetable garden for testing. 
  • Start filling your compost bin as leaves begin to fall. If you have not or do not plan to plant a cover crop, you can till organic material like tree leaves into your vegetable garden soil. 
  • Prepare bird feeders. 
  • Dig and store summer bulbs like gladioli, dahlia and caladium before frost. 
  • Dig sweet potatoes this month before frost kills the plants. 
  • Spring flowering bulbs can be forced to flower in the dead of winter. Just pot the bulbs early this month and place inside your refrigerator. In twelve weeks take them out into the warmth of your home. 
  • Continue to prepare your lawn and garden equipment for winter storage. 
  • Store leftover fertilizers in a dry location for use next spring.

Protect Your Home from
Harboring Unwanted Guest

This Asian stink bug feeds on a variety of hosts in the landscape including butterfly bush (Buddleia), pawlonia, hibiscus, zinnia, and sunflower, to name a few. They also attack fruit trees (ornamental or otherwise). They have potential to do damage to commercial apple, peach, soybean, cotton and other crops. In some areas of the country they are more numerous than the native green stink bug. They may inflict leaf and fruit damage from feeding with needle-like mouth parts.


Perhaps the biggest problem for homeowners is the overwintering behavior where the bugs may collect seeking shelter in homes and structures, similar to the multicolored Asian lady beetle. They don't harm people, but can give off an unpleasant odor when crushed or vacuumed. Appearance in houses begins about late September to October.

Tractor Supply Paper Clover Campain

When: October 3-14, 2018
Tractor Supply Company will continue its partnership with National 4-H Council by hosting its semi-annual Paper Clover fundraiser for 4-H students. The in-store donation event will be held October 3-14.

Tractor Supply customers can participate in the fall 2018 Paper Clover campaign by purchasing paper clover emblems during checkout.

Donations, which begin at $1 and have no cap, fund scholarships that send in-state 4-H youth to 4-H camps, conferences and development programs where they learn everything from animal care to civic leadership.

Register HERE:  

Alexander County Farmers  Help Eastern N.C. Farmers

Everyone has seen the devastation the people of eastern North Carolina are struggling with from Hurricane Florence.  Many have been running to collect and donate items for those in need, but many forget about the agriculture and livestock that needs provided for.  Allison Brown, Alexander County Extension Agent, along with the Alexander County Cattlemen's Association sent out requesting specific needs an Agriculture Extension Agent in Lenior and Greene County had requested.  Two truck and trailor loads were gathered by many around the county and delivered to Lenior County on Thursday, September 20th.  Items that were donated included:  shavings, livestock feed, square haybales, gas, diesel, fencing materials, vet wrap, rope, and livestock water. 

4-H Pumpkin Decorating Contest

D ecorate a pumpkin no matter the shape or size!  Competition is based on creativity.  First place will receive a $15 4-H Scholarship and second place will recieve a $10 4-H Scholarship in each of the following age categories:  8 & under, 9-13 years, 14-18 years.  Scholarships can be used to attend other Alexander 4-H events.  Decorated pumpkins need to be turned in by 4:00 p.m. Thursday, October 18th.  Please pick them up on October 19th.

 Read more N.C. Cooperative Extension news at >>
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