Home' Nonahood News : NONA 100116 Contents Fall is here, and October is the start of
Florida’s dry season. So, for the next five
months we will see very little rain un-
less, of course, a hurricane develops now
through the end of November.
Love bugs have finally left for now
only to return again next May – and, no,
they weren’t created by a mad scientist at
the University of Florida. They actually
migrated here from Louisiana back in the
‘40s and decided they liked Florida, too.
Fruits and Vegetables
You can continue planting your
warm-season crops. At the beginning of
this month, you will start to see the ar-
rival of the cool season crops for sale at
The Home Depot. These cool-weather
crops include broccoli, cabbage, collards,
spinach and Brussels sprouts, to name a
few. Carrots, beets and radishes are some
seeds that can be purchased and planted
directly in your garden. Herbs that favor
the cooler weather include cilantro, pars-
ley, lavender, rosemary and mint.
Strawberries can easily be grown in
home gardens. For all of you strawberry
lovers, this is the time to plant them if
you would like to give them a try. Straw-
berries can be planted as transplants in a
bed or by buying a hanging basket or con-
tainer already started (the easiest way).
They will grow best in a location provid-
ing at least eight hours of direct sunlight
in a well-drained, slightly acidic soil.
Have your soil pH tested to make sure it’s
not alkaline. If planting them in a bed,
make sure to amend the soil with 1-2” of
compost or manure. I like to use a weed
cloth as a mulch to cover the bed. You
also can use wood mulch (not colored),
pine straw or just fallen leaves. This will
prevent the fruit from making
contact with the soil and rotting.
When planting transplants, be
sure not to plant them too deep.
Make sure to cover the roots but
be sure the crown is exposed to
the light. Depending on the va-
riety, read the label that will tell
how much you should space the
plants. Keep the plants moist
and feed monthly with a liquid
or granular fertilizer. You also
will need bird netting to pre-
vent the birds from stealing all
your fruit! Fruits should start to
appear in January, continuing
through the spring.
Did you ever try to grow your own
garlic? It’s a great crop to grow that
doesn’t take up much space or require a
lot of attention. All you do is plant each
clove separately about an inch or two be-
low the soil surface, with the pointy end
facing up. Space them about 4-6” apart,
covering with an inch of compost. Wa-
ter well after planting and lightly there-
after. They should emerge in a week or
two, lightly fertilize and be sure to pull
any weeds as they will inhibit the growth
of your crop. Fall-planted garlic will be
ready for harvesting around the end of
April next year.
Fall Lawn Care
Keep mowing as long as your grass
is growing. If you didn’t apply fertilizer
last month, do it now. If you are going to
apply weed and feed, it’s a good idea to
also apply a pre-emergent (weed stop) to
prevent most of the weeds from return-
ing. You also can use weed stop in your
flower beds after planting to keep weeds
down to a minimum. Do not disturb the
ground after application.
These pre-emergent herbicides will
help prevent weeds before they appear
and should be applied when nighttime
temperatures are cooler.
Shrub and Tree Care
During the fall and winter months,
you can transplant both evergreen and
deciduous trees and shrubs with minimal
shock during these months of dormancy.
Perennials and Annuals
Most of the garden centers will be
flooded with Chrysanthemum (mums)
of multiple colors, make sure to continue
dead-heading them to maintain bloom-
ing. Some cool-season flowers you also
will find at the stores at this time are pan-
sies, petunias, dusty miller and dianthus.
Garden Tool Care
Following these few simple tips will add
many years of life and use to all the tools
that make your gardening chores easier.
Allow your garden tools to dry com-
pletely before storing to prevent rust-
ing and handle rot. Once each season,
rub boiled linseed oil into your wooden
handles to help preserve them. You can
get the oil in the paint department of
any box store.
When finished, wipe the metal parts
of pruners, shears and loppers to dry and
then occasionally spray lightly with a
penetrating oil such as WD-40.
In the Garden: October Fruits and
Vegetables, Lawn Shrub and Tree Care, and More
Pre-emergents like these will help keep weeds from
Strawberries grown in containers – keep fruit off the soil to
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