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FALL TIPS FOR OKLAHOMA GARDENS

September

Lawn

· Last nitrogen fertilizer application of the year on warm-season grasses should be applied no later than September 15. (HLA-6420)

· Winter broadleaf weeds like dandelion will begin to emerge in late September, which is also the best time to control them with a 2, 4-D type herbicide.

· If pre-emergent control of winter-annual weeds (henbit, chickweed, annual bluegrass, etc.) is desired in lawns, the application should be completed by the second week of September. Note: Do not treat areas that will be seeded in the fall.

· Continue bermudagrass spray program with glyphosate products for areas being converted over to tall fescue this fall.

· Plan to seed bluegrass, fescue or ryegrass as needed in shady areas in mid- to late-September. Fall is the best time to establish cool-season lawns (HLA-6419).

· White grub damage can become visible this month. Apply appropriate soil insecticide if white grubs are a problem (EPP-7306). Water product into soil.


Landscape

· Watch for fall specials at garden centers and nurseries since fall is a great time for planting many ornamentals.

· Choose spring flowering bulbs as soon as available.

· Plant cool-season annuals like pansies, ornamental cabbage or kale, snapdragons and dusty miller when temperatures begin to cool.

· Watch for and control any late infestations of tree webworms.

· Twig girdler insects should be controlled if large numbers of small branches of elms, pecans, or persimmons are uniformly girdled from the tree and fall to the ground.

· Begin to reduce the amount of light on outside tropical houseplants by placing them under shade trees before bringing them indoors for the winter.


Vegetables

· You have all of September to plant cool-season vegetables like spinach, leaf lettuce, mustard and radishes, and until the middle of September to plant rutabagas, Swiss chard, garlic and turnips.


October

Lawn

· You can continue to replant or establish cool-season lawns like fescue.

· The mowing height for fescue should be lowered to approximately 2½ inches for fall and winter cutting.

· Broadleaf weeds like dandelions can be easily controlled during October (HLA-6601).

· Mow and neatly edge warm-season lawns before killing frost.


Landscape

· Plant cool-season annuals like pansies, ornamental cabbage or kale, snapdragons and dusty miller when temperatures begin to cool.

· Begin planting spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, hyacinths, crocus and daffodils.

· Good companion plants for bulbs are ground covers such as ajuga, vinca, English ivy, alyssum, moneywort, thrift, phlox, oxalis and leadwort.

· Peonies, daylilies, and other spring-flowering perennials should be divided or planted now.

· Dig and store tender perennials like cannas, dahlias, and caladiums in a cool, dry location.

· Purchase trees from nurseries and garden centers during this time to select the fall color you prefer.

· Many perennials can be planted at this time and the selection is quite nice.

· Plant fall mums and asters and keep them watered during dry conditions. Don’t crowd since they take a couple of years to reach maturity.

· Plant container-grown trees and shrubs this month.

· Check and treat houseplants for insect pests before bringing them indoors and repot rootbound plants.


Fruits & Vegetables

· Dig sweet potatoes and harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

· Remove green fruit from tomato plants when frost threatens.

· Harvest oriental persimmons and pawpaws as they begin to change color.

· There is still time to plant radishes and mustard in the fall garden.

· Use a cold frame device to plant spinach, lettuce and various other cool-season crops for production most of the winter.

· Plant cool-season cover crops like Austrian winter peas, wheat, clover, and rye in otherwise fallow garden plots.

· Remove all debris from the garden to prevent overwintering of various garden pests.

· Start new planting bed preparations now with plenty of organic matter.


Water Gardens

· Take tropical water garden plants indoors when water temperatures near 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

· Close the water garden for the winter by placing hardy plants in the deeper areas of the pool. Stop feeding the fish.

· Cover water gardens with bird netting to catch dropping leaves during the winter months.


November

Lawn

· Fertilize cool-season grasses like fescue with 1pound nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft.

· Continue to mow fescue as needed at 2 inches and water during dry conditions.

· Control broadleaf winter weeds like dandelions (HLA-6601).

· Keep falling leaves off fescue to avoid damage to the foliage.


Landscape

· Prune deciduous trees in early part of winter. Prune only for structural and safety purposes.

· Wrap young, thin-barked trees with a commercial protective material to prevent winter sunscald.

· Apply dormant oil for scale infested trees and shrubs before temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow label directions.

· Continue to plant balled and burlapped and containerized trees.

· Watch for arborvitae aphids, which tolerate cooler temperatures in evergreen shrubs.

· Tulips can still be successfully planted through the middle of November.

· Leave foliage on asparagus, mums, and other perennials to help insulate crowns from harsh winter conditions.

· Bulbs like hyacinth, narcissus and tulip can be potted in containers for indoor forcing.


Fruits & Nuts

· Delay pruning fruit trees until next February or March before bud break.

· Harvest pecans and walnuts immediately to eliminate deterioration of the kernel.


Miscellaneous

· Leftover garden seeds can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer until next planting season. Discard seeds over 3 years old.

· Gather and shred leaves. Add to compost, use as mulch or till into garden plots.

· Clean and store garden and landscape tools. Coat with a light application of oil to prevent rusting. Drain fuel tanks, irrigation lines, and hoses. Bring hoses indoors.


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