Flowerland October Gardening Tips

Weed control, grass seeding, rust, powdery mildew and red thread…

Fall is the perfect time for weed control. Use spray weed controls on lawns especially for tough perennial weeds like ground ivy, dandelions and violets. A pressure tank sprayer for spot weed control should be used in September, October and November. Weeds are like other plants; they are shutting down for winter. By spraying weeds in the fall months you get better translocation of herbicide into the roots making control applications more effective. Weeds will generally produce a glossy coating in hot summer months to protect against moisture loss. This makes herbicide sprays less effective for foliage penetration. In the cooler months of fall, herbicides penetrate better without the natural protective coating to prevent transpiration.

Continue fall planting in this month. Try to have grass seed down by the latest the first week of October. Grass seed mixes often contain Kentucky bluegrass that take 21 to 28 days to germinate.

Problems like rust, powdery mildew and red thread become a problem in the lawn in fall because the top growth of turf slows down. Feed the lawn and cut the grass more often taking only the top 1/3 of the leaf blade per mowing. If you didn’t fertilize the lawn in September, make sure to do so in October.

Cut back and clean up perennial beds. Plants can still be successfully divided and moved this month.

Watch weather forecasts for freezing weather. Get tender plants inside and the last of tender vegetables like tomatoes in before a killing frost. Clear nights with calm air are perfect conditions for frost when we get into the month of October.

October is a great time to plant trees and other “larger” transplants in the landscape. The soil remains warm well into November even though the air temperature becomes cold. Roots do not go dormant and remain active especially if soil temperatures remain warm enough. Feed deciduous trees in October. A liquid feeding of plant starter for transplanted trees will help with root establishment.

Continue planting spring flowering bulbs during the month of October. Plantings of tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, Dutch iris, alliums, lilies and minor bulbs will reward your efforts with great color next spring!

Take note of fall color during this season to plan for your garden next year. There are many tremendous plants for fall color to add to your landscape. Itea, Fothergilla, Witchhazel, Blueberries, and Oakleaf Hydrangea to name a few in regards to flowering shrubs. Perennials like Asters, Solidago, Bergenia and Heuchera look great in October. Trees like Maples, Gingko, and Dogwood provide great fall color!

Don’t pack away the garden hose yet. In dry weather during October or under soffits or overhangs some plants may still need supplemental watering. Do not allow evergreens to enter winter dry. Winter wind and sun could finish them off or at least cause significant damage.

Apply anti-desiccant sprays like Wilt-proof to broadleaf evergreens like Rhododendrons. Burlap screen susceptible evergreens like Dwarf Alberta spruce from winter burn. Plants most susceptible to damage are those that go into the winter dry, do not have a mulch cover and face the south or southwest.

Seal cracks and crevices along the south wall of the home, which are entry points for Box Elder Bugs and Asian Lady Bugs. Spray outdoors with Bayer Multi Insect Control and indoors with Ortho Home Defense.

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