Perennials: Divide and replant overgrown perennials and bulbs now so that they establish before the coolest weather arrives. See Seeds and Propagation (Lawn and Garden): http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_garden_propagation
Fertilize vegetable plants with granular fertilizer monthly. Once vegetable plants are flowering and producing spray fish emulsion & Maxicrop seaweed on both sides of the foliage every week.
Prune dead or diseased branches in trees and shrubs and remove. Don’t prune deciduous fruit trees, shrubs, and vines until they have shed all of their leaves. See Fruitscapes site http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu/fruitscapes/ for detailed information on pruning the various fruit trees, shrubs, and vines.
Bromeliads: Hose out bromeliads with fresh water once a week to keep the mosquitoes from breeding.
Monitor turf for disease: Continue to watch for brown patch and large patch, fungal diseases that cause areas of grass to turn brown. Since treatment is difficult, prevention with proper cultural practices is key. These diseases become active when the soil temperature, measured 2–4 in. deep, is between 65°F and 75°F and go dormant when the weather warms in May. See Turf Diseases: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_turf_diseases and a bulletin about Large Patch: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/LH/LH04400.pdf
Lawns: If you want to over-seed with rye wait until mid- month. This is a relatively easy way to add organic matter to the soil and have a green lawn when St. Augustine turf goes dormant. Sally Scalera advises: “When broad- casting the seed, be sure to walk in one direction to sow half of the seed, and then walk at a right angle to the first direction to broadcast the second half of the seed. To ensure that the seed reaches the soil, sweep the ground with a stiff broom after sowing. Proper watering is crucial for germination. Lightly water the over-seeded lawn for 10 to 20 minutes once or twice a day for 7-10 days to improve seed germination. In late spring, when the ryegrass dies, it will provide more organic matter to the soil. Watch for brown patch and large patch until May. These fungal diseases cause areas of grass to turn brown. Since treatment is difficult, prevention with proper cultural practices is key. See Turf Diseases: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_turf_diseases
Scale Insects: Take advantage of lower temperatures to apply horticultural oil sprays to control scale insects. See Landscape Pest Management: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_pests4
Irrigation: Evaluate your irrigation system and then water everything in the landscape only as needed, which may be just once a week, if that. Plant growth slows considerably because of the shorter days and cooler temperatures. See Landscape Irrigation: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_landscape_irrigation
Poinsettia and Christmas cactus need nocturnal darkness to bloom by the holidays. If there is any light nearby, cover the plant with an opaque lightweight covering overnight, every night, until you see evidence of colorful bracts or blooms. Watch for hornworms on poinsettias planted in the landscape. This pest can quickly defoliate a plant. Handpick or treat only the infested area. See Poinsettias: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_poinsettia
Mulch: Rake dropped leaves from oaks and other deciduous to use as mulch around ornamentals. If possible, mulch around trees and shrubs to a depth of four inches.
Soil: Get your soil analyzed and then fertilize only as needed. Fertilizer is far less important for flourishing plants than good soil. For gardening success select plants adapted to your soil’s pH.
See take a sample blog post!
Fertilizer for Container Grown Plants: Nutricote – not affected by Florida humidity so 9 months’ duration lasts 9 mos. Osmocote – very affected by Florida Humidity so 9 mos. Listed duration lasts maybe 4 months.
Don’t ever apply turf fertilizer within fifty feet of a palm tree. Although the nitrogen in such formulations is slow-release, the potassium and magnesium are quick release. The nitrogen will spur new growth after the potassium and magnesium needed for healthy fronds will have been depleted.
Florida Friendly Fertilizers in Compliance with Local Fertilizer Ordinances:
Organic fertilizers, soil conditioners and soil additives are also available.
Some of the most common are:
• Blood meal: a byproduct of the meat-packing industry. Steamed and dried, it's high in phosphorous. • Bone meal: another byproduct of the meat-packing industry, bone meal contains calcium and phosphorous, essential elements for plant growth. • Fish emulsion: a fish-processing byproduct. Mild, nontoxic and organic, fish emulsion is good for tender plants that may suffer fertilizer burn. • Compost: one of the best all-around garden materials for soil improvement. • Composted manure: for soil conditioning or use in the compost pile. • Peat moss: an amendment that aerates and lightens heavier soils such as clay. It adds mass to sandy soils to reduce the leaching of nutrients.