Lawn Care: Apply a lawn fertilizer to keep the grass healthy and growing up to the first frost. This will help ensure that your lawn makes it through the winter and resumes growth in the spring. You should use a con- trolled-release nitrogen fertilizer. This is also a good time to test the pH of your soil. Acidic soils are corrected with an application of lime.
Watering: Maintain watering on newly planted seeds and transplants, use a rain wand to avoid disturbing plants with small root systems. On St. Augustine and other lawns, water well but less often. With shorter days and cooler nights – begin to reduce the amount of water applied as needed. Avoid watering in the evenings if possible to prevent fungal diseases.
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch: Mulching keeps plant roots cooler , weed seeds at bay and conserves water. Apply 3” deep around trees and shrubs. Add compost around annuals, herbs, and vegetables. Do not mound mulch against the base of a plant, this only invites insect and fungus to come in contact with the crown of plants.
Vegetable Gardens: Clean out your vegetable garden once the plants have stopped producing. Remove any that were susceptible to disease and insects. Early September is your last chance to get tomatoes and peppers in the ground. Cool-season vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, mustard, let- tuce, and kohlrabi can be planted September through January, look for seeds or transplants to add to your gar- den.
Flower Beds: Prepare your flower beds for the planting of cool-season annuals. Now is a good time to plant wood ornamentals because they have time to establish themselves before spring. You should divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have become overcrowded. Cut back and remove old flower stalks, and re-fertilize them to encourage one more color before winter.
Refresh Container Gardens: Fall is in the air. Refresh container gardens with snapdragons, dianthus, mums, petu- nias, lobelia, crotons & more.
Hummingbird feeders should be kept full to prepare the hummingbirds for their annual seasonal flight to Mexico and warmer weather. They purposely feed to store up energy for the trip.
Spray your home’s foundation with a 32-ounce hose-end container of Bayer Complete if fire ants are migrating into your home through the expansion joints, or “weep” holes. This may not be necessary if you have been faithful in applying insecticide granules on your lawn as recommended.