10 Must-Do Gardening Tasks for October in Gig Harbor, WA


As the leaves begin to change and the temperatures drop in Gig Harbor, Washington, October is a crucial month for gardeners to prepare their landscapes for the upcoming winter and ensure a bountiful spring. The unique maritime climate of Gig Harbor brings its own set of challenges and opportunities for gardeners. To help you make the most of this month, here are ten essential gardening tasks to tackle in October.

  1. Plant Fall Bulbs: October is the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and crocuses. These bulbs need a period of cold to bloom beautifully in the spring, making autumn the ideal planting season. Choose a well-drained location with plenty of sunlight for your bulbs.
  2. Divide Perennials: Overgrown perennials can become crowded and less productive over time. Take this opportunity to divide and transplant them, ensuring healthier plants and potentially expanding your garden. Plants like hostas and daylilies benefit from division.
  3. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch: Gig Harbor’s maritime climate can be rainy, so adding a layer of mulch to your garden beds will help conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds. Organic mulch, such as compost or wood chips, works wonders for your soil health.
  4. Prune Dead or Diseased Branches: Dead or diseased branches should be pruned from trees and shrubs in October to promote healthy growth. Proper pruning will also help prevent diseases from spreading to other parts of your garden.
  5. Clean Up Leaves: Fallen leaves are abundant in October. Rake them up from your lawn and garden beds. Consider using leaves for composting or shredding them to create nutrient-rich mulch.
  6. Fertilize Lawns: If you have cool-season grasses like fescue or ryegrass, October is the time for a fall fertilizer application. This will encourage root growth and help your lawn withstand the winter months.
  7. Prepare for Frost: Gig Harbor occasionally experiences frost in October. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to cover tender plants with frost cloth or bring them indoors to protect them from the cold.
  8. Harvest Fall Vegetables: Enjoy the last harvest of the season by picking pumpkins, squash, and root crops like carrots and potatoes before the first hard frost arrives.
  9. Plant Garlic: Garlic lovers, take note! October is the ideal time to plant garlic cloves for a bountiful harvest next summer. Plant them in well-drained soil with full sun exposure.
  10. Clean and Store Garden Tools: As the gardening season winds down, don’t forget to clean and sharpen your garden tools. Properly storing them will prevent rust and ensure they are ready to go in the spring.

October in Gig Harbor, Washington, provides a unique opportunity for gardeners to prepare their landscapes for the changing seasons. By following these ten essential gardening tasks, you’ll not only enhance the beauty of your garden but also set the stage for a successful and productive gardening season in the months to come. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your gardening gloves, and embrace the autumnal beauty of Gig Harbor’s gardens.


woman mulching a gig harbor wa garden