Lawn and Garden Tips and Tricks for October

Ask The ExpertsHouseplants

Moving houseplants back indoors:

  • Lessen the shock from the reduction of light by placing newly moved plants to a bright spot before moving them to their new location.
  • Be careful not to overwater them during the adjustment period which can take several weeks. After that, water only as needed.
  • Thoroughly spray your plants before moving them back indoors to prevent introducing plant pests. Use a horticultural oil or insecticidal soap labeled for use on houseplants.

Ask The ExpertsTrees and Shrubs

  • Tree and shrub branches should be pruned at this time only if they are dead or damaged. Wait until after all the leaves have dropped for all other corrective and cosmetic pruning. (Watch our pruning videos)
  • Powdery mildew (pictured) is a common late summer and early fall leaf disease of dogwood, lilac and other landscape plants. Affected leaves turn white and droop. Pruning may help to increase air circulation to lessen the chance of disease. No fungicide sprays will be effective now. However, as a last resort, if the damage is severe, next year you can apply a labeled fungicide, or use a horticultural oil labeled for powdery mildew control. Follow the label for application intervals. Try to select resistant cultivars when planting new landscape plants.

Ask The ExpertsVegetables

  • Reduced sunlight and lower temperatures contribute to a number of physiological tomato fruit disorders including uneven ripening, blotchiness, poor flavor and texture and small size. You may also notice seeds inside of tomato fruits beginning to germinate. This is a natural phenomenon and will not affect eating quality.
  • Lettuce, spinach, arugula, and kale can be planted through the middle of the month. Cover these late plantings with a cold frame, temporary greenhouse or floating row cover. Be sure to fertilize seedbeds, keep the soil moist and protect seedlings from pests. The young plants will go dormant and re-grow in Spring.

More tips from HGIC

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