PERENNIALS: October is the time to plant perennials for optimum root growth. If you have crowded or overgrown perennials, divide them now. Your divided plants will have time to grow roots in their new homes before winter.
Perennials that benefit from dividing every 2-3 years: hosta, daylily, coreopsis, bee balm(mondarda), iris, lamb's ear, phlox, coneflower(echinacea)and astilbe, among others.
To divide: water the plants well two days before dividing if there has not been rain. Gently dig up the root ball and lift from hole. Shake loose soil from the root ball. Divide by pulling or cutting, making sure each division has both ample roots and stems. Prepare the new planting holes with organic matter. Replant right away (do not allow the roots to dry out). Fertilize with * to promote root growth. Water well. Apply 2 inches of mulch around the new plant.
ANNUALS: There is still time to plant cool weather plants like pansies, violas, and ornamental cabbage and kale. Pansies and violas will begin growing and blooming next spring at the first warm snap.