WHAT TO DO October

Fertilize – Restrict fertilization to plants that clearly need it. In general, established trees don’t need fertilization. If plants aren’t doing well used a controlled-release fertilizer like Lesco 8-2-10, Landscape & Ornamental Fertilizer, 100% sulfur-coated slow release. Don’t apply fertilizer close to tree trunk. In the past woody shrubs like hibiscus and ixora were armed for cold weather by applying a fertilizer high in potassium, such as Fertilome Winterizer or Sunniland Bloom Special. With increasingly warmer winters this is no longer critical.

See Nutrient Deficiencies (Landscape Plants): http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_nutrient_deficiencies_landscape_plants

Lawns - Fertilize Bahia and St. Augustine lawns with a complete 15-0-5 fertilizer with at least 50% slow release formulation. This is the last yearly fertilization for these lawn types.

See Lawn Fertilizer : http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_lawn_fertilization

See: General Recommendations for Fertilization of turf grass on Florida Soils http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh014.

Palms – have unique nutritional needs and are an exception to the rule that

established trees don’t routinely fertilizer. Use a fertilizer with controlled release nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. See: Palm Nutrition & Fertilization: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_palm_nutrition

Prune - It’s time to give hedges and shrubs a final trimming before the dormant season. Remove all dead or diseased wood from your shrubs and trees. To keep from spreading disease when pruning, always wipe blades clean and then spray Lysol on all pruning equipment and let it air dry.

In addition to maintaining a pleasing form, pruning helps perennials to rebloom and stay healthy. For shrubby perennials like lantana and pentas, prune only the tips of each stalk down to the next set of leaves. This encourages branching, bushiness and more blooms. Pinch coleus blooms to promote fullness.

For perennials that form long stalks like scarlet milkweed, ruellia, vincas, and salvias, remove the lankiest stalks all the way to the last node. More stalks will fill in where you’ve pruned. Herbaceous perennials without branches, such as agapanthus, gingers and clivia, don’t need pruning at this time.

UF Resources for Gardeners

UF/IFAS Publications (EDIS): http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/

Florida-Friendly Landscaping™: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/

Gardening Solutions: http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/

Living Green: http://livinggreen.ifas.ufl.edu/

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