October 15th is the expected first frost date on L.I. It varies from year to year and can be different in different areas of Long Island.
Do not allow the garden to dry out. Water as necessary. It is important for trees, shrubs and perennials to be well watered going into winter. For more information, see our fact sheet on this topic.
Leave Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, carrots, parsnips and parsley in the ground during winter and harvest for use as needed. Cover them with straw after a thin frozen crust appears on the soil.
Dig and store canna and begonia tubers.
Store cured potatoes in a dark 40°F room.
Cut back long "whips" of roses.
Be on the watch for fall colors. Take a hike to enjoy them.
Continue mowing as long as grass is growing. Wait to fertilize on or before November 15th. Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq.ft. For more information, see our fact sheet on this topic.
If not done in September, core aerate lawn areas now to reduce compaction and improve drainage.
If there has been a frost, cut back dahlias. Wait a week before digging them up.
Plants need time to settle in before cold weather. Plant trees or shrubs now. Mulch and water thoroughly. Deciduous trees and shrubs can be planted or transplanted now after the leaves have fallen. For more information,see our fact sheet on this topic.
Clean up debris of summer flowering plants. Add the debris to your compost pile.
Work generous amounts of compost into your vegetable and perennial beds and turn your compost pile. For Home Composting information, see our fact sheet on this topic.
Spring flowering bulbs can be planted until the ground freezes. For more information on spring flowering bulbs, see our fact sheet on this topic. For more information on bulb depths for planting, see our fact sheet on this topic.
If you haven't done so in September test the pH of your soil now. It takes 3–6 months for lime to work its way into the soil, so now is the better time for pH testing than in the spring. For more information, see our fact sheet on this topic.
Erect burlap screens to protect newly planted evergreens from desiccating winter winds. For more information, see our fact sheet on this topic.
Wait until the ground freezes to apply winter mulch.
Cut herbaceous peonies down to the ground.
Trim off dead and broken branches from trees and shrubs. For more information, see our fact sheet on this topic.
Dig up tender bulbs, clean and store for winter. Some bulbs need a slightly moist environment. Others bulbs may be dried completely.
Last updated October 11, 2017