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Landscaping - October Gardening Tips from Pikes
Date Posted: Oct 01, 2005
It's hard to beat the weather we have in October. Air temperatures cool, humidity levels decrease and on a brisk October day, all seems right with the world. Rather than being a chore, it's almost a pleasure to get outside and do a little yard work. Not only do people love this time of year, so do plants. In fact, the fall season is the best time to plant just about anything. From shrubs and trees to spring blooming bulbs and pansies, plants usually thrive when planted in the fall.
  • Renovate Fescue lawns. Overseed an existing fescue lawn or plant an entirely new lawn. Mid-September to mid-October is the ideal time to sow Fescue seed. Use approximately 8 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet.
  • Prepare your lawn for winter weather. Established lawns will benefit from Pennington Lawn Winterizers. These products fortify turf grasses and help to prevent winter injury. Use a 20-5-15 formulation for cool season grasses such as Fescue. Warm season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede need a 5-5-25 formulation. A 20 lb. bag will cover 6000 square feet.
  • Buy spring-flowering bulbs now for best selection. Select favorites like Daffodils, Tulips, Irises, Crocus, Hyacinths and many more. For best results, plant the bulbs in mid to late November. Until then, store bulbs in the refrigerator or in another cool, dry location.
  • Plant cool season annuals. Flowering plants such as Pansies and Violas mixed with leafy plants such as Ornamental Kale, Ornamental Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, Oregano and/or Parsley will add eye-catching color and texture to your fall and winter landscape.
  • Garden mums in bud and bloom may still be available during the first half of the month. Plant them now for instant color. Because they are perennials, you can expect them to return to your fall garden in the years to come.
  • Plant shrubs, trees and perennials. During the fall, plant growth above the ground slows down or stops altogether. This allows newly planted shrubs, trees and perennials to concentrate their energies on root development rather than top growth. By the time that the growing season returns, plants and trees that were set out in the fall should have well-established root systems. A vigorous root system is able to support the plant and provide it with the water and nutrients it will need for a healthy existence.
  • Plant fall blooming Camellia sasanquas. Most sasanquas burst into bloom during October and November. Depending on the variety you select, flowers may be single or double. Bloom colors range from white to varying shades of red and pink.
  • Move and transplant existing shrubs and small trees. If you have plants that have outgrown their planting sites, now is great time to move them. Since plants are not actively growing above the ground at this time of year, transplanting them now will help to reduce shock to the plant. To give transplants a strong start, use Green Light Root Stimulator. This product also works well on new plantings.
  • Prevent winter weeds in Bermuda and Zoysia lawns. Apply a pre-emergent product (crabgrass preventer) to your Bermuda or Zoysia lawn in mid-October. Pre-emergents help to prevent the development of annual bluegrass (poa annua) and certain other winter weeds. Note: Do not apply a pre-emergent to Fescue lawns if you have planted or will plant grass seed this fall.
  • Mulch planting areas for winter protection. Mulches help to insulate the soil in cold weather. They also help to retain moisture in the soil and protect plant roots from temperature extremes. Plants can withstand harsh winds and cold temperatures much better in moist soil.
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