Seasonal Calendar – October

FIRST WEEK:
Fall fescue planting season officially begins! Watering restrictions are still in force in many places so make SURE you have good soil-seed contact. Aerate before seeding, roll afterwards, water when you can.  see Fescue Planting 1-2-3

Last chance to apply a weed preventer to bermudagrass, zoysiagrass and centipedegrass lawns to thwart winter weeds like chickweed and annual bluegrass. You can still get 75% control at this point in the season. see Timing Pre-emergent Application

If you want your poinsettia to turn color by Christmas, now’s the time to begin giving it 14 hours of darkness and 10 hours of bright light each day. see Forcing Poinsettia into Color

Trim back by one fourth any woody plants you’ve kept outdoors during the summer, to help them fit inside your home for the winter. see Pruning Hibiscus

Fertilize newly planted fescue with a high-phosphorus starter fertilizer. see Fescue Fertilization

SECOND WEEK:
The pansy planting season begins now! Plant “six-pack” pansies eight inches apart, larger plants can be spaced ten inches apart. see Planting Pansies

Cut brown flower stems of purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, daylily and hosta back to ground level.

Move patio plants into shade for two weeks before bringing them inside. This will help prevent leaf drop. see Insects on Patio Plants

Drench newly-planted pansies with water-soluble houseplant fertilizer at the rate shown on the label. This will push them off to a fast start. see Fertilizing Pansies

Apply a weed preventer to beds of already-planted cool-season flowers to prevent weed seeds from sprouting. see Pansy Weed Control

THIRD WEEK:
Clean fallen fruit from the ground under pear and apple trees. Remove from the tree any fruit that you don’t intend to harvest. see Fruit Tree Care

Plant spring flowering bulbs, like tulip, daffodil and hyacinth. Old, crowded beds can be loosened and the bulbs divided and replanted now. see Planting Bulbs in Fall

Finish dividing daylily clumps, iris rhizomes and peony roots. Plant them into a well-dug bed immediately. see Dividing Daylilies

Raise your mower height one-half inch and enjoy a last mowing of your Bermuda, centipede or zoysia lawn. You can now put your lawnmower to rest for the winter. see Mowing Heights for Lawns

Remove faded rose blooms. Clip wayward stems back so the plant has a compact form, ready for winter wind and ice. see Rose Care

FOURTH WEEK:
As chrysanthemum and aster flowers fade, cut the plants back to six inches tall.

Rake out and replace all of the mulch and dead leaves under roses, red tip photinia and crabapples. You’ll prevent diseases on next year’s leaves.

Review your pesticide storage procedures. Are they all labeled? In a locked cabinet? In a place where they won’t freeze this winter? see Storing and Disposing Pesticides

Root cuttings of geranium, impatiens, begonia and other “outside” plants to bring indoors for the winter. see Cleaning and Propagating Houseplants

Fertilize pansies again with water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. Switch to a product that contains nitrate nitrogen (Osmocote, Pansy Booster, etc) when you feed in two weeks. see Pansy Care