It's time to move houseplants inside for winter. Prepare plants for the transition with these helpful tips:
1. Repot and fertilize as needed.
2. Prune large plants that flower on new growth, such as Bougainvillea or Mandevilla vines. Removing growth now won't affect flowering next year.
3. Clean the soil surface by pulling weeds and removing dead leaves.
4. Give insects the boot by spraying plants with water. A soap-and-water solution also works well. Be sure to spray leaf undersides.
5. Evict insects living in soil near drainage holes by submerging lower half of pots in water for 15 minutes. Or direct pesticide spray into drainage holes.
6. Borrow or buy a hand truck or dolly to move large plants.
7. Place plants indoors in a sunny, unheated room to give plants a cool retreat. This type of growing environment helps reduce pest problems.
8. Allow holiday cactus, kalanchoe, and potted azaleas to stay outdoors until night temperatures fall to 40 degrees F. This treatment helps improve flowering.
- Fertilize cool-season lawns early in the month -- but only if you didn't do it last month.
- Keep mowing as long as grass keeps growing.
- Deal with fall weeds, such as annual bluegrass and henbit, by applying a preemergent herbicide. Don�t use a preemergent if you're planning to seed or overseed your lawn.
- Overseed warm-season turf, such as Bermuda, zoysia, or centipede grass, with annual ryegrass to keep a green lawn through winter.
Fall is a perfect time for planting trees and shrubs. Choose balled-and-burlapped or potted plants. Water plants as fall unfolds, especially if rain is scarce. Mulch after planting to help retain soil moisture, but don't heap mulch against tree trunks. Grind fall leaves to use as mulch around perennial and shrub plantings or to blanket empty vegetable beds.
Gather pine needles (straw) to place around plantings. Pine straw is especially effective around acid-loving plants: azalea, rhododendron, gardenia, holly, and camellia.