Jim Potts
Jim Potts, Director of Maintenance – East Valley

Fall is upon us, the days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. This is the time of year we in the Horticulture industry start to think about winter chores.  Below are some tips to help with your October landscape endeavors.

  • If a green lush winter lawn is on your wish list, now is the time to start preparing. Your mowing height should be down to about 1”, leaving a nice base of grass plants that will help with spring recovery.  A light combing of the lawn may be necessary to help get the see down to the soil surface for the best chance of germination.
  • If letting your lawn rest for the winter is your desire, here are a few tips: Start reducing the watering frequency and duration as the night time temperatures drop, this will reduce growth and discourage weed growth. A light fertilization with a balanced fertilizer will help the plant enter its rest period with stored reserves and will aid in recovery in the spring.
  • This is also a good time to apply a Premergent herbicide to discourage winter weeds.
  • Some of the high blooming shrubs appreciate a light hair cut this time of year. Lantana and Bush Morning Glory are a few. Remember: less is more when it comes to fall touch ups.  This will help remove some of the spent blooming tissue and allow the plant to put on some new, productive growth that will help it harden off for the winter rest period.
  • Tree pruning should be limited to structural corrections and clearance issues as necessary. Now is also a good time to take care of any broken or damaged branches that were injured during the Monsoon storms. Palm hangers and any seed pods that may have slipped past the summer trimming should also be taken care of now.
  • October is also a great time to plant annual flowers for a beautiful holiday display. Some of the tried and true standbys are; Petunia, pansy, Geranium, Snap Dragon and many, many more. A good way to break up the old standards is to select a few, well placed vegetables in your flower beds. Broccoli, Cauliflower and Swiss chard. Swiss chard comes in a verity of different stem colors making for a bed with many textures and colors.

Remember it is always best to have a plan. If you have any questions, please ask your Caretaker Professional.

Article Provided By:
Jim Potts Horticulturist. Certified Arborist 7119A, ACLP, CDLP, CTP, CMG, CSLM
Director of Maintenance-East Valley