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Welcome to Cooperative Extension: Garden & Yard

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Volunteers collect onions for Maine Harvest for Hunger; photo by Edwin RemsbergUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension provides home gardeners with practical, how-to solutions based on university research.

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For timely information throughout the gardening season, see Maine Home Garden News.

October is the month to…

lawn grassCut grass a little shorter in the fall. We recommend you cut your lawn no shorter than three inches during the regular growing season. This height helps the grass establish a deeper root system so that during the dry periods of summer it can compete with weeds better. The taller grass also helps shade out the weeds. However, we recommend that you gradually cut the grass lower as fall progresses, with the final cut at 1.5 inches. The shorter grass gives the lawn a better jump in the spring, as there is less an opportunity for the grass to matt or clump overwinter.

Plant garlic! The end of September though October is the time of year to plant garlic for next year’s harvest. Planting at this time will allow the garlic cloves time to set roots so they will have a jump start next spring. If you plant later or even next spring, the plant will mature before the bulb can gain size, and you’ll be left with very small garlic bulbs for harvest. For more information, see Bulletin #2063, Growing Hardneck Garlic in Your Maine Garden.

fall foliageEnjoy leaf peeping. Maine is known for its incredible fall foliage. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry produces a report of foliage in Maine, and also has a map showing the foliage status of the state broken into seven different regions. They will also provide you with regular reports of the status of foliage if you provide them with your email address. See Maine Foliage.

Read more garden tips and ideas in Maine Home Garden News.