Tips for November
» Plant these fall vegetables now: beets, carrots, “greens” (mustard, collard, turnip), kale, lettuce, radishes and spinach.
» Lawn establishment using warm-season grasses such as Bermudagrass, St. Augustine, zoysia and buffalograss should be completed early in the month.
» Overseed established Bermudagrass lawns with perennial ryegrass this month, if desired.
» Plant these fall-blooming annuals from bedding plants before buds have opened: marigolds, petunias, asters, pinks, snapdragons and mums. Wait until cooler weather to plant pansies, violas and ornamental cabbages and kale.
» Complete sowing bluebonnets to ensure spring flowers. For season-long color, purchase a wildflower mix that contains annuals and perennials, as well as cool- season and warm-season plants such as bluebonnets, black-eyed Susan, Indian blanket, Indian paintbrush, Mexican hat, plains coreopsis, purple coneflower and evening primrose. Sow seeds in areas that are free of grasses and lightly tilled. Lightly rake area to get good seed-soil contact before watering.
Fertilizing and Planting
» Apply high-nitrogen fertilizer (4-1-2 ratio) on lawns and shrubs to prepare plants for fall and winter. Container plants will benefit from using high-nitrogen, water- soluble fertilizers.
» Tidy up summer perennials by removing dead and faded flower stems and seed stalks. Continue through fall.
» Root-prune trees and shrubs to be transplanted this winter. Cutting the roots around the plant with a spade will stimulate new root growth in what will become the soil ball when plant is moved.
» Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to lawns early in the month to control winter weeds. Depending on the type of weed targeted, it may be necessary to apply two products – one for grassy weeds (annual bluegrass, ryegrass, etc.) and another for broadleafed weeds (chickweed, clover, dandelions, henbit, etc.).
» Make final application of Image® or SedgeHammer® before mid-month to control nutsedge in warm-season lawns.
» Remove webworms from pecan trees. Cut off the ends of branches as soon as the webs appear. Tear open large webs to expose worms for the birds. Spraying is not practical.
» Spray roses suffering from black spot and powdery mildew with labeled fungicide.
» Prepare beds for spring-flowering bulbs. Add organic matter to improve water drainage.
» Harvest the rain! Install a rainwater catchment system on your property to reduce demand on public water supply. Rainwater is low in pH, minerals and salt, and contains no chlorine. To learn more, contact a Master Gardener rainwater harvesting specialist by calling the local AgriLife Extension office at 972-825- 5175.
» Why mow it (lawn) when you can grow it! Incorporate edible plants into your landscape. To learn more about transitioning a part of your landscape into vegetable, fruit or nut production, read “The Edible Landscape”.
Tips for OCTOBER
» Plant cool-season annuals such as pinks, snapdragons and ornamental cabbages and kale early in the month. Wait until temperatures have cooled to plant pansies and violas.
» Complete planting these fall vegetables early in the month: radishes, spinach and turnips.
» Last chance to sow wildflowers in order to have blooms next spring. Always purchase “fresh” seed.
» Purchase spring-flowering bulbs while selection is good. Chill tulip and Dutch hyacinth at 45°F for 60 days prior to planting. Daffodil and grape hyacinth require no special handling but should be stored in a cool location until planting (soil temperature below 55° F). Recommended daffodil varieties include Ice Follies, Fortune, Carlton, Cheerfulness and Tahiti.
» Fall is a great time to set out perennial herbs, including thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley, lemon balm, pineapple sage and Mexican mint marigold. Work a few inches of compost into soil prior to planting and mulch the plants after planting.
Fertilizing and Planting
» Remove annuals that have completed their life cycle. Leave seed pods to self- seed next year (cleome, cosmos, four o’clock).
» Continue to feed tropical plants in containers and hanging baskets with a water-soluble fertilizer. Cut back or repot overgrown houseplants and fertilize with same fertilizer.
» Spring and summer-flowering shrubs and vines (including climbing roses, wisteria, etc.) should not be pruned at this time because they have already established their buds for next year’s bloom. Prune these plants immediately after they stop blooming next year.
» Watch for brown-patch fungus on St. Augustine lawns. Water only in the mornings and apply turf fungicide at first sign of fungus.
» Watch for cutworms and looper caterpillars on young leafy vegetables. Products containing Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) are safe to control these pests. Control aphids with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.
» Attention, Christmas cactus owners! To initiate flower buds, give the plants bright light each day followed by 12-14 hours of total darkness at night, for 30 days starting mid-month. And keep night temperatures under 65° F.
» Make landscape changes starting this month. Be sure to select native and adapted trees, shrubs and perennials to complement or renovate your landscape. Fall planting will allow these plants to establish roots before hot, dry weather arrives next year.
» Grouping plants in the landscape with like watering requirements (hydrozoning) can result in significant water savings.
» Implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program to reduce the amount of pesticides used in your landscape. IPM is a common sense, science-based strategy used to manage pests (insects, plant diseases, weeds) by applying economically and environmentally sustainable practices. Learn more about this holistic system of pest control at http://landscapeipm.tamu.edu.