Do you need some Zone 8 gardening tips for October?

I’ve teamed up with a great group of girls to give you a glimpse into our October gardens.

If you are stopping by from Down Shiloh Road, welcome. I am so glad you are here.

Let me share a few things I do in October when I am puttering around in my gardens.

My Tip on Ferns

Macho Fern - J Dub By Design

First up, my ferns…..

The girls (all 14 of them) get their last dose of fish fertilizer for the growing season.

Click here to read about the process and watch the step by step tutorial.

My girls have about a month before they head to the greenhouse for their winter vacation.

Right now, we are getting 90 degree temps during the day and cool nights.

So, my ferns are in heaven.

A little dose of magical medicine, keeps them happy, lush, and green.

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After I clean up all my beds in preparation for winter, I put a fresh 2″ layer of mulch in all my beds.

Mulching makes my flower beds look neat and tidy…… until the leaves start falling.

In addition, mulching adds organic matter and nutrients to the soil for all my plants to enjoy.

And, mulching helps my flower beds retain moisture.

This is a big plus for me as Mother Nature is not giving us any rain here in The Hill Country.

Mulch added to the fall garden - J Dub By Design™
I add a fresh layer of mulch to all my garden beds in the fall. Then, the crepe myrtle leaves start falling and add even more organic matter to the beds.

Tip on Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental Grass in the fall zone 8 garden - J Dub By Design

I planted a plethora of different grasses in the rock gardens.

This is the time of year when they are blooming their heads off.

I cut and I cut…..and then I cut some more.

Pampas grass arrangement - J Dub By Design

These stems are wonderful in arrangements all year long.

I give the stems away. I keep some for myself.

Ornamental grasses are the gift that give all year long.

pink muhly grass - J Dub By Design

Plant some….

Some Tips to Plant, PLant, PLANT

Speaking of planting…..

I live to dig in the dirt. I love to dig in the dirt. It is my therapy.

Fall is a FABULOUS time for zone 8 gardenistas to plant shrubs, trees, perennials, bulbs, and annuals.

So knock yourselves out!

Here’s what is on my October agenda in the planting department:

I am dying to add some pansies to my garden for some cheery fall, winter, and early spring color.

But, right now it is just too hot. Pansies don’t like hot weather.

So I will need to wait until the end of the month to get a few trays of these happy faced annuals.

I am also planted my iris rhizomes I have temporarily potted up in my greenhouse.

Tips for planting Bearded iris - J Dub By Design

In September, I purchased new varieties that are going in the back garden beds.

I also bought some more white iris for my courtyard.

Planting Bearded Iris - J Dub By Design

When I plant my iris rhizomes, I dig a hole about 4 inches deep and 4 inches wide. I place the rhizome in the hole. Then, I cover it with dirt. But, I leave a small portion of the rhizome exposed.

I make sure that I do not cover the exposed portion with any dirt or mulch.

This ensures that the rhizome is not planted to deeply and will bloom the following spring.

Bearded iris rhizome - J Dub By Design™
I leave a small portion of my bearded iris rhizomes exposed to the elements.
Immortality Iris - J Dub By Design™
“Immortality” Bearded Iris Blooming in my Courtyard in the spring

The Black Squirrels

Last but not least, I have to mention my black squirrel problem.

Those little rats have destroyed the two mandevilla I traditionally plant every spring on either side of the entrance into our courtyard.

Mandevilla with periwnkles and asparagus fern - J Dub By Design
I’ve planted this combo for the last 4 years in these containers. The black squirrels destroyed them this year.

I threw in the towel. Bye Bye mandevilla.

But, if you think I gave up completely…..think again.

I purchased two NEW vines. This solves a few issues for me.

  • The black squirrels are not fans of this vine.
  • This is a perennial vine so I won’t need to re-plant each year.
Carolina Jasmine in the fall garden - J Dub By Design
I purchased these from my local nursery.

So, I would give me a point for this win.

Carolina Jasmine in the fall garden - J Dub By Design
Freshly planted Carolina Jasmine.

The score right now…….

Squirrels – 100000

Jennifer – 1

That’s all my tips for zone 8 gardening in October!

Update on Meredith, My Forever Feral

Here are a few photos of Meredith, my forever feral. She pretends she hates me.

Meredith the forever feral cat - J Dub By Design
Meredith, always waiting nearby…….

For the last three years since I brought her home, it has been my goal to get my hands on her. I really hope that one day she will sit in my lap and tell me she loves me.

That is NEVER going to happen.

But, she does follow me all over the yard. She wants to know exactly what I am doing.

Meredith even jumps in the greenhouse through the back window to supervise me.

Meredith, the forever feral - J Dub By Design
She is about to leave the greenhouse because I am too close with the camera.
Meredith, the forever feral - J Dub By Design
Watching me plant the Carolina jasmine. She looks impressed, doesn’t she?

If you checked out my tips for September, you know that I recommend pruning your roses one last time if you live in zone 8.

Here are mine one month after I gave them a massive haircut.

Hybrid tea roses - J Dub By Design™
Lush new foliage and buds after I pruned them last month.

Happy Fall Y’all!

This gardenista is off to find some dirt.

Head on over to The Flowering Farmhouse to see what Jen is up to in her gardens.

Also, don’t forget to check out these blogs for even more inspiring garden ideas.

The Tattered Pew

My Thrift Store Addiction

Bricks ‘n Blooms

Shiplap and Shells

White Arrows Home

Follow the Yellow Brick Home

Down Shiloh Road 

The Flowering Farmhouse

Cottage on Bunker Hill

Want to know where I got the gardening bug? Click here.

Looking for some great recipes?

Hasselback Potatoes

Roated Tomato Basil Soup