October and November are prime months for fall gardening and landscaping. Below are tips to help you have a productive Fall season and to prepare your foliage for the subsequent winter and spring seasons.
Obtain a soil test from your county extension service to analyze the health of your lawn and to see if your lawn requires any additional nutrients. Your soil pH level should be around 6.0 to 6.5. If your lawn needs to be re-seeded, now would be the time to do it. It is essential that new grass seed be kept moist and may require a brief watering several times a day until germination. During this process, leaves should be kept off the seeds without disturbing them.
Your summer garden is now ready for some clean up, so remove those old plant debris and place them in the compost pile (as long as the debris is not diseased). October and November are a perfect time to start planting your cool-season crops (e.g., broccoli, spinach and lettuce). Cool-season crops are able to handle cooler temperatures and taste better after a few light frosts.
Fall is ideal weather for planting trees and shrubs. During this time the soil is warm enough for the roots to actively grow. This will give the plant the needed months to develop a healthy root system for the heat that will come in the new year. Continued watering is still needed, as drying winds during cooler weather can dehydrate the plant quickly. Soil moisture should be checked often, and watering should be done about once a week (when there is not any rain).
One simple tip is to not waste fallen leaves. If you dump leaves on your grass and run your lawnmower over them, then it will shred them into small pieces. These pieces will break down quickly and act as a great organic supplement for your foliage beds. These broken-down leaves can also act like a layer of mulch for the winter.
Make sure to plant flower bulbs or store them in a cool, dry place (i.e., refrigerator). When living in cooler climates, flowers should be planted in October. For southern climates, flower bulbs are best planted in late-November.
For more information or additional gardening tips, please visit www.armstronggarden.com.