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Fertilize established lawns in mid-September.
For lawn overseeding or renovation, start in September. This gives you time to fill in areas with poor germination this season rather than in spring, when grass seeding is less successful.
Keep reseeded areas moist (not wet) until seed germinates. This may mean watering seeded areas for a few minutes a couple of times a day.
Apply milky spore to lawns to kill Japanese beetle grubs in soil.
Keep spraying roses. As nights begin to cool new flower buds will develop.
October is also one of the best times to plant trees and shrubs.
Cut back perennials as leaves turn brown. Rake up all dead leaves from your beds to avoid carrying diseases over to next spring.
Reseed any overseeded areas that have not germinated within four weeks of seeding.
Remove annuals from beds and containers and replace with pansies and violas for winter color.
Use deer or rabbit repellant on pansies and violas if you’ve had a problem before. Deer remember where a good buffet is.
If you’re planning to overwinter any tender tropicals, bring them inside before frost. Bring in any houseplants that spent the summer outdoors before the temperatures drop below 50 degrees at night. Spray tropicals and houseplants with insecticidal soap or oil to kill any insects that may hitch a ride indoors. See more on overwintering below.
Keep falling leaves off of newly seeded lawns. Blow or rake very gently. Rake up and dispose of garden debris to minimize carrying diseases over to next year.
Lift tender flowering tubers and bulbs (Dahlias, Tuberous Begonias, Cannas, Calla lily, Gladiolus) to store after the first killing frost.
Divide and transplant perennials, Peonies, groundcovers and bulbs.
Fertilize Fescue lawns around Thanksgiving. You can also lime now.
Cool season weeds may make a comeback as temperatures drop. Control them before they go to seed.
Prune tall wax myrtle, roses or butterfly bushes that may suffer damage in ice or snow storms.
Shut down your irrigation system, drain hoses and take in any hose fittings to avoid costly freeze damage.
Want to keep your hibiscus, bougainvillea or other tropical plant over the winter? Follow these steps and you can enjoy a beautiful plant next summer. Click image below to view.