Garden and Outdoors


Gardening in October by the Dirt Doctor


Plant (1) cool-season flowers like pansies, violas, pinks, snapdragons, flowering cabbage and kale, English daisies, Iceland poppies, wallflowers, and garlic, (2) complete wildflower plantings, (3) trees, shrubs, vines, and spring- and summer-flowering perennials, (4) strawberries, and (5) cool season grasses.


Always avoid synthetic fertilizers, especially nitrogen only products like 24-0-0 and “weed and feed” types. Fertilize all planting areas with an organic fertilizer like dry molasses at 20lbs per 1,000 sqft. Foliar feed all plantings and lawns with Garrett Juice Plus and Thrive every two weeks or at least once per month. Add rock minerals, if not recently done, like Texas Greensand, lava sand, or granite sand.


Water newly planted wildflower area if there is little to no rain and newly planted annuals.

Weed, Pest & Disease Control:

Remove weeds by hand or with mechanical devices and spot treat with vinegar. Corn gluten meal may also be used to help control annual winter weeds such as bluegrass, dandelion, henbit, fescue grass, ryegrass, and Poa annua. For Brown patch in St. Augustine, apply cornmeal and compost. For Peach leaf curl, use a mixture of Garlic Pepper Tea or Garrett Juice Plus and garlic, with Sick Tree Treatment. For general insect control, spray Bio Wash at label directions. For fleas, ticks, chiggers, and Bermuda mites: dust with Crawling Insect Killer when weather is dry. For fire ants, drench mounds with a mixture of Orange Oil, dry molasses, and compost tea. For mosquitoes, spray Garlic Pepper Tea and apply dry granulated garlic to soil and pots. For fungal disease control, spray with Bio Wash at label directions. For iron chlorosis (yellowed leaves and dark green veins), apply Texas Greensand at 40lbs per 1,000sqft.


(1) Pick-prune shrubs as needed, but save major pruning for winter, (2) remove dead and damaged wood from trees, (3) mow weekly and leave clippings on the lawn, (4) build new compost piles and turn old ones, (5) use completed compost to prepare new planted beds, (6) use partially completed compost as a top-dressing mulch for ornamentals and vegetables, and (7) feed and water the birds!