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October Lawn & Garden Tips

In the Garden

  • Color for the Garden and Pots. Plant blooming Snapdragons, Violas and Pansies for fall and winter color. Try planting Ornamental Mustard, Kale or Cabbage for exciting foliage color.
  • Fall is the time to plant or transplant shrubs. Water newly transplanted shrubs thoroughly.
  • Plant Now for Spring Color. Plant Spring flowering bulbs like Daffodils, Hyacinths, and Tulips and apply a light, complete fertilizer such as Espoma Bone Meal or Pennington Bulb Food.
  • Divide overgrown clumps of perennials, such as Daylilies, Daisies, Hostas, and Coneflowers. Replant divisions or give to friends as "pass-along" plants.
  • Improve the Soil. Fall is a good season for improving the soil by adding organic amendments - such as Pike's Planting Mix - and rototilling.
  • Let it Spread. Add vines and ground covers to your gardens such as Clematis, Mondo Grass, Liriope, Creeping Raspberry and English Ivy.
  • Create Shade with Trees. Add some trees to your yard. Trees will provide shade that can reduce summer energy costs and increase your home's value.

In the House

  • Bring Them Inside. If you moved plants outside for summer now is the time to bring them back inside. Now is also the time to bring in tropical flowers like hibiscus and citrus. Before you bring the plants inside check for insects. You may need to use an insecticidal soap or a systemic insecticide prior to the big move.

For the Lawn

  • Plant Fescue Seed: As with other plants, sowing fescue seed in the fall allows the grass to root in and become established before the stressful heat of summer returns. September 15th - October 15th is the ideal time to seed fescue. Use starter fertilizer when reseeding or for a new lawn.
  • Apply a pre-emergent: To control winter weeds such as poa annual (annual bluegrass), henbit, chickweed, and others, apply a pre-emergent to your Bermuda or Zoysia lawn around mid-month. Do not apply to a fescue lawn if you plan to sow seed in the fall. Not only will it prevent weed seeds from germinating, it will also prevent the grass seed from germinating. This should be applied from late September to mid-October.
  • Lower the Blade. Lower your mowing height to 2-3 inches for Fescue & St. Augustine, 1-2 inches for seeded Bermuda and 0.5 - 1.5 for sodded Bermuda & Zoysia.

For the Birds

  • Keep Them Full: Keep your feeders and the birds full this month as the landscape transitions from summer to fall.
  • Feed Migrating Birds. While summer has nearly ended, keep your hummingbird feeders full. They may attract migrating hummingbirds.
  • Plant Berries. Keep the birds in mind when selecting your fall plants. Plant berry bushes like hollies, pyracantha, mahonia, and blueberries to keep the birds happy.