Welcome to October everyone. I love fall gentle breezes, soft sunshine and the foliage colors are breathtaking. The soil is still warm and you can plant until the first week of November. In fact early November is a great time to plant spring bulbs.
You also have time over the next few weeks to divide summer blooming perennials, which have been in the ground for three years or more. Dividing perennials gives them a new lease on life and encourages more prolific bloom next season. The rules on transplanting also cover dividing.
Fall planting with soil remaining above 40 degrees gives plants a head start on those planted in spring. This is especially true, when we have a late cold, wet spring, which has happened in recent years. However, evergreens will have to wait until next spring, as they cannot be planted after September; the reason being is they have shallow roots and need time to establish before the heavy frosts.
Early spring blooming perennials such as Iris can be divided up to the second week of October; the soil should still be quite warm and with adequate moisture there will be enough root growth to anchor these divisions before frost heave becomes a problem. When dividing Iris cover the horizontal root divisions (the rhizomes) with just enough soil so they do not topple over, any deeper and they will not flower,