October To Do List

Fall for planting in your landscape this month! Most people plant trees, shrubs and ground covers in spring, but fall is really the best time to plant. By planting in fall, which is October through mid-December, you get to take advantage of the great opportunity to get plants established. Root growth, which is the first priority after planting, occurs during fall and winter in Louisiana when shoots and flowers grow slowly.


-Plant all the trees & shrubs you'd like because fall is the best time to plant in your landscape! 


-Anytime this month is a great time to plant cool-season annual flowers, except pansies, which some choose to wait for until late October or November. All will benefit from a slow-release fertilizer and regular irrigation, about 1-inch per week. A deep watering is more beneficial than every day mini watering sessions.


-Use mulch to conserve moisture and smother weeds. An ideal amount is 3 inches thick.


-Now is the time to plant citrus trees! Try: kumquats, satsumas and Louisiana navel oranges. 


-Sow cool-season seeds for incredible spring color.


-Freshen up container gardens, and consider ornamental grasses, mums, snap dragons and crotons for beautiful fall-themed color. 


-Divide and replant clumping perennials.


-Plant cool-season vegetables. Stagger plantings across a few weeks or months, so they can be harvested in a steady supply, not all at once! 


-Reduce watering deciduous fruit trees, so they will be allowed to go dormant. 


-Keep bird feeders stocked and bird baths clean because around the 20th, the fall bird migration peaks in our area.  


-Around Oct. 7, many Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds will depart Acadiana for their tropical wintering. Keep at least one feeder up since several other hummingbird species may spend the winter in your backyard.


-Dig caladium bulbs once the foliage dries, and store in a warm, dry location. 


-Prune oleanders after flowering to encourage branching. 


-Check peach trees for scale. If needed, spray dormant trees with a dormant oil spray. 


-This is a great time to sample your lawn soil and correct any pH issues.


-Prune runaway stems of azaleas now, but don’t get carried away while pruning! The spring flowers are being set, and over pruning will reduce the spring blooms.