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Home > Care > October Tips

Tips for October
by Brad Thompson

Stop Fertilizing: You don't have to stop completely yet but you should start slowing down because with colder weather your plants are not growing as fast# if at all. They won't keel over if you stop completely now especially if you've been fertilizing all along so don't be afraid to stop. When the plants aren't growing you can get fertilizer build up which will harm the roots and if the plants are growing in cooler weather you will get too lush a growth that will damage easily especially if we have frost or a near frost. I usually fertilize now and resume when I get new growth in the spring and am repotting.

Spraying: I've been telling you all along this year to keep spraying for mildew & bugs and this month will be no exception. It's as important now as ever to keep the mildew off your plants even if they are going to sit there for the winter & not do much because they are much more likely to winter kill if a good part of the plant is damaged by mildew & then another problem like too much rain or cold comes along. It's kind of like when you get a cold & you don't take care of yourself# then get bronchitis or pneumonia easier because you didn't take care of the first problem. Take care of that mildew right away. Now would be a good time to go through your plants since a lot of your plants are defoliating anyway & check each one for pests. Kill all those nasty mealy bugs now & you may not have a problem next spring. If you don't want to spray Malathion or something like that then just use q tips or a small paintbrush & alcohol to kill the buggers; just touch them with the alcohol & it kills then instantly.

Repotting: Now is not the time to repot your plants into larger pots but if some haven't faired so well after they were potted earlier# then they probably won't with the little warm weather so you can try potting them back down into smaller pots so they won't get over watered with the winter rain. Just take off the loose soil & pot it into the smallest pot that it will fit into *within reason# of course+.

Fall Cleanup: One thing that will help your plants is to keep all bad leaves taken off & fallen leaves picked up to prevent diseases from spreading# like mildew# botrytis# etc. Besides# your yard & plants will look better & less dismal so you will feel better. You could even get all those pots cleaned up# sorted & put away & get all your paraphernalia collected & stored so you'll be able to find it next spring & you'll be that far ahead for the busy season.

Seeds: Now & the next couple of months are a good time to get started planting that seed you gathered this summer. Plants started now will be the perfect size to move outside next spring when the weather is warm enough


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