October can be a month that leads to some confusion with regard to your landscape.  It’s still hot, but the days are continuing to get shorter and the need for water is not as great due to the cooler temperatures.  Here are some some tips on what to do:

FERTILIZER – Don’t fertilize your shrubs in October.  This will only encourage new leaves that will be frost sensitive in November and December.  Instead, harden off your flowering plants by cutting back the water and help ease them into dormancy.

PRUNING – Don’t do heavy pruning in the fall.  Fresh cuts on a plant or tree stimulates new growth and that is what we are trying to avoid for the same reason as not fertilizing.  The only pruning on trees should be to repair storm damage or remove dead wood.  Apply the same rules to your shrubs.

WILDFLOWERS – If you are a fan of wildflowers, now is the time to sow the seeds.  With the intermittent rains through the winter, the seeds will germinate without any additional help of water.  Seeds should get water every two weeks or so for best results.  Choose a desert mix of seed that will fit with a landscape palette.

NEW PLANTINGS – Many nurseries have sales this time of year to reduce their stock and get ready for the Holidays.  Be careful as many plants are still left over for a reason…remove the plant from the container to ensure the roots are not encircling the container.  If the plant is root bound, it will lead to trouble up taking water and fertilizer in the future.

TREES – Don’t be alarmed if older leaves of your tree turn yellow and drop.  This is a normal process for deciduous trees like Sycamores and Ash.  By shedding old leaves, the energy from the roots of the tree will produce brand new leaves come spring when the weather warms up again.

Care To Know Tip:  The best tip we can provide is DO work with Mother Nature and not against her.  It will save you time and money and in the long term, be more sustainable.