Gardening Guide

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Monthly Gardening Tips (Conventional & Organic) – October

Fall is the BEST time to Plant!


  • Annuals & Perennials-Pansies, violas, ornamental cabbage/kale, cyclamen, mums, snapdragons, crotons, ornamental peppers, dianthus, salvia, gaura, coreopsis, asters, sedum, coral bells, and more. Dig, divide & replant spring flowering perennials (daylilies, iris, oxalis, coneflowers, Shasta daisies).
  • Spring-blooming bulbs – Plant daffodils now. Refrigerate tulips & hyacinths for 45 days+ at 45º and plant after mid-December. October is the time to plant garlic bulbs too.
  • Trees, shrubs, vines, ornamental grass. This is the best time to plant so they’ll be established by summer.
  • Annual or perennial ryegrass and fescue seed early in the month for green grass all winter.


  • Perennials by removing seed heads, dead foliage and old flowers.
  • Shrubs as needed to reshape and remove dead branches—save major pruning for late winter.
  • Trees as needed to remove dead or damaged limbs—save major limbs for late fall or early winter. Remove unwanted surface roots—limit removal to 1 or 2 significant roots each year.
  • Tropical plants you want to move indoors for the winter.


  • Potted plants & flower beds in sunny areas still need regular watering. Water shrubs & trees less often, but deeply to produce hardier, better rooted plants. Hand water areas that don’t get sprinkled. Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation for more efficient water usage.
  • Trees installed for less than two years must have special care to ensure a strong and healthy root system.  See our Plant Article Tree Care for the First Two Years for all the details.
  • To improve water retention, add Soil Moist & Expanded Shale or Covington’s Soil Builder which contains compost, greensand, and expanded shale (holds 38% of its weight in water). Covington’s Soil Builder also breaks up clay, adds nutrients, & revitalizes microbial activity.
  • Top dress landscape/flower beds with 2-3 inch layer of mulch to help retain moisture, reduce weeds, and maintain soil temperature. Treat lawn & landscaped areas with Hydretain for greater soil moisture retention.



  • Pansies & other annuals w/Covington’s Premium Flower & Garden Fertilizer or Hi-Yield Blood & Bone Meal.
  • Herbs and vegetables with Covington’s Premium Flower & Garden Fertilizer or ferti-lome Gardeners Special.
  • Newly planted trees and shrubs every 3-4 weeks for the first year with ferti-lome Root Stimulator.
  • Trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers, and perennials with Covington’s Tree and Shrub Fertilizer.
  • Lawn w/Covington’s High Performance all Nitrogen 25-0-0 early in the month for quick greening OR use Covington’s Premium Lawn Fertilizer 21-7-14 as the last application for the year to winter over the lawn.
  • Roses with ferti-lome Rose Food or ferti-lome Rose Food with Systemic Insecticide.
  • Iron-deficient plants with Iron or ferti-lome Soil Acidifier Plus Iron to encourage greening.  
  • Strengthen foliage & increase production on fruit/pecan trees next year with ferti-lome Fruit, Citrus & Pecan Fertilizer.


  • Spot treat broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, henbit & clover in St. Augustine or Bermuda grass with ferti-lome Weed Out. 
  • Apply Bonide Infuse to St. Augustine for fungal infections including Gray Leaf Spot and Brown Patch.
  • Use ferti-lome Systemic Fungicide for powdery mildew, disease & fungi on hawthorn, photinias, roses, etc.


  • Use Bonide Insect and Grub Control Granules for grub & cinch bug control.
  • To control fire ant mounds/infestations, use Hi-Yield Fire Ant Control.
  • Use Hi-Yield Slug & Snail Killer to control slugs and snails on flowers and foliage, or use Bonide Slug Magic in children’s play areas and areas near pets.
  • Control aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, thrips, & other problem insects w/Bonide Systemic Insect Control.
  • For best control of scale & to kill borers in the trunks of trees, use Bonide or Ferti-lome Systemic Insect Drench which protects for months.
  • For armyworms, webworms & cankerworms, and grasshoppers, use Bonide Eight Insecticide or Hi-Yield 55% Malathion.
  • For elm tree damage from elm leaf beetle larva use Bonide Eight (contact killer with Permethrin).
  • Continue spray program for fruit and nut trees. Use ferti-lome Triple Action or Bonide Fruit Tree Spray.



  • Newly planted trees and shrubs with Ocean Life Ocean Harvest to help prevent transplant shock, increase beneficial microorganisms, and encourage root development.
  • Flowers, perennials, and roses with Happy Frog Acid Loving Fertilizer.
  • Turf, shrubs, and trees with Good Natured Texas 2-Step Fertilizer,
  • Vegetable gardens with Happy Frog Tomato & Vegetable Fertilizer.
  • Use Corn Gluten Meal 9-0-0 to feed turf and prevent weeds. Also spread Dry Molasses to enhance weed control and encourage healthy soil.
  • Apply Garrett Juice Plus once a month to your landscape to increase beneficial micro-organisms in the soil.
  • Add Texas Greensand for deep greening in lawns, trees and landscape plants.


  • Spot treat grassy and broadleaf weeds with 20% Vinegar. Add 2 oz. of Orange Oil per gallon of vinegar to enhance the kill on weeds and grasses.
  • Apply Horticultural Corn Meal on landscape plants, vegetables, and turf grass for disease control.


  • Use ferti-lome Come and Get It Spinosad Bait for protection from fire ants. To treat individual fire ant mounds, use 3 to 4 ounces of Orange Oil per gallon of water as a mound drench. Spray Orange Oil in areas infested with pillbugs, sow bugs, ants and spiders.
  • Repel mosquitoes with Cedar Warrior Granules or spray Bonide Mosquito Beater. Use Mosquito Bits with BTI to kill mosquito larvae in standing water & to control fungus gnats in flower beds and containers.
  • For army worms, webworms & cankerworms on shrubs/trees, use Hi-Yield Thuricide at dusk or Spinosad.
  • For bugs & fungus use ferti-lome Triple Action Plus containing Neem Oil. Safe to use on fruit trees.
  • Spray Bonide All Season Oil for scale on holly, crape myrtles & fruit trees. In hot weather, use these oil products in early morning or evening!
  • Control slugs & snails with Bonide Slug with Spinosad.
  • Use Diatomaceous Earth for crawling insects and grasshoppers.
  • To deter pesky flower and plant-munching rabbits, use Rabbit Scram and/or Bonide Repels-All spray.
  • Get rid of armadillos with eco-friendly Armadillo Repellant in a convenient hose end sprayer.

For professional landscape design & installation; lawn, tree & shrub fertilization; or weed/disease/insect control, please call our Landscape Services Team at 972-475-5888 Ext. 119.