We have got to do a lot of weeding and pruning. Take it from a guy who has just spent hours in the yard hoeing, pulling and killing weeds then doing the trimming. It is amazing how well the unwanted greenery grows during the rainy season. Add some nutrients from mulches, compost, manures and fertilizers and you have out of control plants.
Some weeds can be spot-killed with herbicides. Most gardeners are familiar with the capabilities of Roundup and similar products that allow use under and near many plants for weed control. Regretfully there is no product to selectively take weeds out of thick established plantings. But there is one for grass control. Check out the Ortho Grass B Gon product. It allows spraying over the top of many broadleaf plants listed on the label to remove grassy weeds. Always follow the label carefully.
When herbicides are not an option, we are busy removing the weeds manually. Some like Cuban purple woodsorrel have bulb-like portions under ground. Where possible try to dig these out. I know it is a chore but it could save lots of work in the future.
Now is the time to reign in out of control limbs and shoots too. Some like the yaupon holly trees, oaks and even crape myrtles send up lots of suckers. There is a Sucker Stopper product on the market and this may help for trees that are on the label. Otherwise you hand prune them or use a string trimmer to cut them down.
Where limbs need to be trimmed back, follow good pruning procedures. Avoid haphazardly cutting or shearing them back to size. Instead, cut them back to buds along the stems, branch angles or back to the trunk or even the ground.
The idea with most pruning is to keep the good natural shape of the plant. For some plants major pruning time is over and these include azaleas, gardenias and camellias. An out of bounds shoot or two might be removed but that is about it.
When you are done with the weeding and pruning I have a list of Tom’s Gotta Do’s that have been keeping me busy – how about you?
October 2012 Plantings
Flowers: African daisy, alyssum, angelonia, ageratum, begonia, black-eyed Susan, blue daze, calendula, candytuft, celosia, chrysanthemums, cleome, coleus, cornflower, cosmos, dianthus, dusty miller, gaillardia, gazania, geraniums, gerbera, heliotrope, hollyhock, impatiens, larkspur, lobelia, nicotiana, pentas, petunia, salvia, snapdragon, sunflower,
sweet pea, verbena and zinnia.
Vegetables: Beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, collards,
kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onion, peas, potato, radicchio, radish, rhubarb, roquette, rutabaga, spinach, strawberry, Swiss chard and turnip.
Herbs: Anise, basil, bay laurel, borage, cardamom, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel,
garlic, lavender, lemon balm, lovage, mint, nasturtium, oregano, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram, tarragon, thyme and water cress.
Bulbs: African lily, agapanthus, amaryllis, anemone, bulbine, calla, crinum, day lily, gingers, gladiolus, pineapple lily, rain lily, society garlic, spider lilies, walking iris, watsonia.
Refrigerate crocus, daffodils, hyacinth, narcissus and tulips for forcing.