October In the Garden

It’s that welcoming time of year in the south when the weather turns cooler and the garden is getting ready for one last jolt of color from perennials before the winter sets in.  Fall is the perfect time to get out and do some chores that you’ve been putting off for a while – so here’s our list of things you can be doing this time of year in your Southern Garden.

Plant In the Fall For Best Success Next Year

Fall is the most ideal time of year to plant in the south.  Colder climates are better in the spring, but for us here in the south, the cooler temperatures make an ideal setting for getting plants in the ground.  The water requirements are less which means less stress on you and the plants.  In the warm regions of the south – typically zones 8 and 9,  plants continue to grow all year even if they’re deciduous or dormant.  The roots keep on growing and they are under a lot less stress so they will be at optimal performance before the heat of summer next year.

The best plants to plant in the fall?  Most shrubs, trees, and especially perennials will do much better if planted in the fall.  Camellias & Tea Plants are perfect fall plants and we’ll be glad to help you get your garden started with these Beauties!

GARDEN TASKS – Applies to Most Plants

Severe Tea Scale

Treat For Tea Scale & Mites

For Camellias – Cooler weather is the ideal time to get those pesky insects under control, the biggest being Tea Scale and mites. We recommend using a horticultural oil or organic neem oil to treat for scale and mites.

Mulch Mulch Mulch

Adding a 3-4″ layer of natural mulch will not only help you protect your plants from cold weather but as they break down they add nutrients back to the soil. Leaves, straw, or bark are recommended – never rocks or rubber mulch which won’t help with adding nutrients.

Make Sure Your Plants Are Well Hydrated

Although the water requirements are lower, plants still need to be adequately hydrated. As the time is approaching for cooler weather, our risk of freezing temperatures increases. Make sure your plants have the best protection by adequately hydrating your plants before a winter freeze. Freezing is a drying process, so giving your plants a drink of water will help them get through the cold time much better.

Save Fertilizing For Spring

Fertilizing in October is still okay as long as you are using an organic like one of the ‘Tones’ from Espoma.  Holly-Tone, Plant-Tone, Berry-Tone, or Citrus-Tone are all okay to get in a fall feeding as they are not likely to cause the plant to start growing, but could be of great benefit to the roots which need food throughout the cooler months.

Pruning In October

Pruning plants should be limited to some things and avoided completely on others.  With fall pruning, you may be preventing buds set on many spring things like Hydrangeas, Azaleas, & some fruit trees. – You can do a very light snipping or trim only on shrubs, trees & perennials.   Wait until February to do any major pruning.

Separate and Relocate Perennials

It’s the time of year to work on those perennials!  Cooler weather is perfect for dividing your clumping perennials and spreading the love to other parts of your garden or to friends.

Camellia Season Starts October 1

If you ask anyone in our area what ‘season’ October brings in.  Most will say it’s Football Season, or in our family’s case, ‘Hunting Season’.  But at Blackcreek Nursery we look forward to ‘Camellia Season’ which starts October 1 and goes through March 31!  Each year in October, Camellias start blooming and you’ll have blooms throughout the winter to adorn your gardens and your tables!  Don’t Miss it!  Stop by often as different Camellias bloom at different times!

Check Out What’s Going On At Blackcreek This Week!