October Gardening Tips For Florida

October Gardening Tips mulching

Consider these October Gardening tips for improved lawn and garden enjoyment during the cooler months ahead of next Spring. These tips are specifically for Northeast Florida gardeners and are heavily influenced by weather changes, including the end of the rainy season, fewer daylight hours, and a 10F degree drop in temperature.

-Pay attention to your plants watering needs as October’s monthly rainfall averages 4′”, a significant drop from rainy season averages between June and September. Although it’s chillier with fewer hours of sunlight, October can still register highs in the 80s, accompanied by windy conditions that rapidly dry out the soil. And remember irrigation schedule water restrictions fall from twice to once per week watering when Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 5, per the City of Jacksonville Ordinance Code Chapter 366.

-You can fertilize your perennials, bulbs, citrus, palms, and other select trees and shrubs during October. However, how often and what time of year to fertilize for maximum benefit can depend on the type of plant and type of fertilizer NPK assay and whether it’s a liquid, powder, or granular. Even though Florida county Fertilizer blackout periods around the state are typically lifted by the end of September, continue being careful to overuse fertilizers and apply them correctly, as they can harm your plants and cause environmental damage.

-If applying a Winterizer fertilizer on our Florida warm-season grasses, do so with a nitrogen-free product and apply before dormancy.

-Consider applying organic mulch to your gardening beds to protect bare roots and soil from falling temperatures and nutrient runoff. Earth Works Lawn Care can provide you a mulching quote.

-Tender warm-season bulbs and tubers such as caladiums and gladiolus can be dug up, inspected for fungus, cleaned of dirt, and stored in peat moss, perlite, or vermiculite in a cool location until Spring planting season.

-Overseeding with ryegrass can be done in October to add Winter color to your dormant warm-season grass lawn. Both perennial and annual ryegrass is available for those considering these October Gardening Tips.

-Houseplants kept outside during the warmer months should be examined for pests and treated accordingly. Continue with your fertilization requirements for your houseplants and prepare to move them and other tender tropicals indoors ahead of any air temperature drops below their healthy growing requirements.

-Prepare the ground for Fall herbs and vegetable garden beds, perennials, and Spring bulbs. Add compost and soil amendments specifically formulated for the growing requirements of your plantings. For the veggie beds, consider planting beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions, radishes, summer squash, and turnips.

-Continue weeding warm-season weeds, and if considering using a pre-emergent herbicide, apply ahead of the seed germination of cold-season weeds. “Regardless of where you live, the application window for fall pre-emergents should be when temperatures are below 70 degrees and dropping,” according to Sod Solutions. “It should be noted that a pre-emergent herbicide that is applied before you overseed in the fall will keep your seed from growing.”

-Avoid trimming your trees and shrubs except for instances of dieback, disease, and damage. Trimming your trees and shrubs at the wrong time can jeopardize leaf and flower buds that have already been set, resulting in poorer growth and blooms in Spring depending on whether they set their blooms on old or new wood.

-October is a terrific time to plant trees and shrubs as the cooler temperatures reduce stress and facilitate faster acclimation.

-Monitor the water temperature in your koi pond and reduce the amount of food they are fed and consider lower protein formulations available at the Earth Works garden center.

-Aeration and Top Dressing renews your lawn soil with beneficial microbes, and the required micro-nutrients improve oxygen supply to plant roots, and reduce soil erosion and runoff. Earth Works’ lawn care division provides this service. Our garden center likewise has many varieties of high quality soils for your gardening needs.

-This is a good time to begin planning any landscaping projects on your mind with a member of our landscape design team at Earth Works. Along with being a good time to plant it can reduce wait times for ordering products and beats the Spring rush.

For more specific October gardening tips speak directly with a member of our Earth Works Garden Center staff. And for comprehensive solutions to your specific lawn, garden and landscaping needs contact Earth Works of Jacksonville at 904-996-0712. Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, drainage solutions, water features, lawn care service, and lawn spraying.

Earth Works proudly serves clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.

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