Make sure everything is well watered during October. Many plants will not make it through a cold winter if the soil is too dry. Take the time to test your soil for moistness and water everything thoroughly.
Now is the time to get your Poinsettias and Christmas Cactus to bloom for the holidays. Put them in a spot indoors where they will get 10 hours of bright light and 14 hours of total darkness daily. The room temperature should not be above 70 degrees F for Poinsettias and cooler (60 degrees F) for Christmas Cactus.
Now is the time to plant bulbs for a spring flowering garden. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus are some of our favorites. Use a good potting soil and fertilizer. Generally, bulbs should be planted in the soil two or three times deeper than the greatest diameter of the bulb (about 6 inches down for tulips and daffodils, and 3 inches down for crocus and grape hyacinth).
October is a great time to give the lawn some additional care with fertilizer. IF your lawn needs to be thatched or aerated, do this prior to fertilizing. New grass seed can be added if needed.
Fallen leaves and old vegetable plants are wonderful to add to the compost pile to use in next year's garden. You can even spade these items direct into your garden soil where they will compost on their own over winter.
Eliminate weeds and do a general clean up of your garden. Prune back any perennials that have died off.
Add some color to your October garden or window boxes by planting mums, flowering kale/cabbage, icicle pansies or michaelmas daisies.
Bring in your tender plants before the frost gets to them. These include geraniums, begonias, impatiens and daisies. Harvest all your vegetables before they are damaged by frost.
October is ideal for planting or transplanting many plants, trees and shrubs. Plants will experience a minimum amount of shock as they enter their dormant stage. You can usually find good bargains at your local nursery as well!