October Yard and Garden Tips
Watch out for:
- White grubs - the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis does a
nice job on them, but it does take a little time to build up in the
soil. See White Grub Management in Turfgrass for more information.
Things to do:
- Bulbs - it's time to plant those spring-flowering bulbs you purchased in September, such
as daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocus. See
Spring-Flowering Bulbs for more information.
- Soil Test - now is the time to test the soil in your planned
beds for plant nutrients. Soil tests usually take 10 days, so test now
to have the results when you plant bulbs and beds. It is important to
till in the lime needed (if any) for faster soil pH adjustment. You
may also sample your vegetable garden now if you do not plan to add
more fertilizer for late crops. See
How to Collect a Soil Sample for information on sampling your areas.
- Fruit sanitation - begin inspecting your fruit trees. Be sure to remove any mummified remaining fruits, and rake up and dispose of old leaves and branches that may harbor
diseases over the winter.
- Fertilizer - You may choose to add some nitrogen to zoysia and
Bermuda lawns this month that have been overseeded. DON'T
fertilize non-overseeded, warm-season grass lawns late in the fall! See
Fertilizing Lawns for more information. If you have not soil-tested your lawn areas in the past 12 months, now is a great time!
- Lawn Establishment - if you plan to plant a cool-season
(fescue) lawn, the best time to plant is between September 15 and
October 15. Wait until next spring for warm-season grasses. Unhulled
Bermuda seed can be planted now, but spring
planting of hulled seed will provide a better stand. See
Lawn Establishment for more information.
- Henbit - this nice little lawn weed can be a problem. Treat now to prevent its return this summer. See
Henbit for more information.
- Nutsedge or "nutgrass" - nutsedge is very difficult to
control. There are two main types in our area - purple and yellow.
You must identify which you have before you begin treatment.
Herbicides must be applied when the nutsedge is actively growing, which
means decent soil moisture and warm conditions. See
Nutsedge for more information.
- Irrigation - as this month progresses you will continue to cut back on your irrigation amounts. See
the Home and Garden Center's irrigation publications for more information. See How Much Water
to determine how much water you are actually applying.
- Pond Stocking - September through January are good months to stock bream in a fishing pond. See
Stocking & Harvesting Recreational Fish Ponds for more information.
- Pond Liming - September through January are also good times to lime the pond bottom if necessary. See
Liming Recreational Ponds for information on sampling the bottom and applying lime if needed.
- Leaves - leaves are beginning to fall. If you have space
and a little time composting is a great option; if not, you can also
till them into any fallow beds you have or the vegetable garden. See
Composting for more information.
- Plan ahead - if you plan to plant some trees or shrubs this
year, begin thinking about which plants you would like now, and find
retailers that carry those varieties. You have plenty of time, but you
certainly do not want to miss your favorite at the last minute.
- Garden clean-up - half the tomato disease battle in a
vegetable garden is sanitation. As tomatoes end their production
remove them from the garden and take them to a landfill. Many diseases
will over-winter on old infected leaves and stems. (A good practice
for any plants you have had disease problems with this year).
- Make a note - sketch out where you planted various
vegetables in your garden. This will come in handy next spring when
you plant, so you can rotate your crops to help prevent disease.
For more information for October, see
This Month in Your Garden's