October Tips & Tricks for South Florida Landscapes


This month we are going to be addressing our irrigation systems uses  and everything we can do to help promote conservation.New research has found that the claims that Florida-Friendly landscapes (FFL) really do use less water than traditionally landscaped yards really do, hold water. Analysis indicated that FFL homes used at least 50 percent less irrigation than homes with more traditional landscaping. So with this in mind, please consider using the 9 FFL principles when landscaping your property: 1)Right Plant, Right Place, 2)Water Efficiently, 3) Fertilize Appropriately, 4)Mulch, 5)Attract Wildlife, 6) Manage Yard Pest Responsibly, 7)Recycle, 8)Reduce Stormwater Runoff, 9) Protect the Waterfront.

What to plant this month in the garden:

Annuals: Even though temperatures are still warm, begin planting for the cooler months ahead. Impatiens, alyssum, dianthus, and petunia will add color and are good plants for your fall & winter garden.

Herbs: A wide range of herbs can be planted from seed or transplants this month.Some to try are dill, fennel, parsley, and cilantro.

Vegetables: Plant crops now that will grow and produce through the winter months.This includes beet, English pea, carrot, garlic, and onion.

Strawberries:Prepare beds and set strawberry plants this month. Strawberries make a colorful and tasty container planting. Water daily until plants are established.

What to do this month

Bedding Plants: All annuals & perennials should have there spent blooms removed, cut back & fertilized to extend the bloom season into the fall months.

Irrigation: Automatic timers should have there rain sensors turned on and activated to prevent excess watering which could result in a fungus or disease in your grass. All new grass, landscaping and trees that are installed this month should be watered daily until the root system has been established.

Lawns: Winter weeds in lawns should be treated before they appear. Pre-emergent herbicides should be applied when nighttime temps drop to 55-60°F for several consecutive nights.

Ornamentals: This is the last month of the year to fertilize shrubs and trees. Controlled-release fertilizer provides nutrients over a longer period of time as opposed to a liquid fertilizer which could leach through our sandy soils..

Oleanders: The oleander caterpillar is a year round resident and pest in our South Florida landscapes. To control without harming beneficial insects, prune off infested leaves or spray with BT
(Bacillus thuringiensis) making sure to only treat infested areas.

Palms: Palms should be fertilized this month with a granular time released blend of 8-2-12 with minor elements.

Newly planted grass, trees, shrubs and perennials should be watered daily until their root system has been established.

If you need help regarding your landscaping, we at Garden Services are fully licensed & insured to handle all your irrigation, landscaping, lawn maintenance and tree service needs whether it’s a residential, commercial landscaping or homeowner association property. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email me and I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Special thanks to UF/IFAS extension for some helpful information provided in this post. Until next month Happy Gardening!