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Butterly Gardens

WHAT TO DO IN OCTOBER

Plant vegetable seeds. Beets, Carrot, Mustard, Onion, Garden Pea, Radishes, Spinach, Turnip. EARLY OCTOBER: Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Garlic, Lettuce.

Plant vegetable plants. Chinese Cabbage, Collards (and other Greens), Lettuce, Spinach, Turnip, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Greens, Lettuce, and Spinach can be planted throughout the fall, if they are given frost protection.

Plant herbs. Plants: All perennial herb plants; also Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Parsley. Seeds: Borage, Caraway, Chamomile, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Summer Savory.

Plant annual flower/ornamental seeds. Sweet Alyssum, Calendula, Centaurea, Coreopsis, Johnny Jump-Up, Larkspur, Nasturtium, Pansy, Poppy, Snapdragon, Sweet Pea.

Plant annual flower/ornamental plants. Sweet Alyssum, Calendula, Centaurea, Coreopsis, Johnny Jump-Up, Larkspur, Nasturtium, Pansy, Poppy, Snapdragon, Sweet Pea.

Plant perennials, trees, and shrubs. Plant Columbine (in a shady location) now in order to have those springtime blooms.

Plant ground covers and borders.

Plant wildflower seeds. This month is the ideal time to plant them. We are often asked about Bluebonnet inoculant.  It is not necessary for the Bluebonnets to grow.  From the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center: "It is, in fact, not really necessary to inoculate the soil to successfully grow bluebonnets.  Rhizobium does help bluebonnets and other, mostly leguminous, plants grow in poor, nitrogen-deficient soils.  Given sufficient nitrogen fertilizer and grown in reasonably high pH soil, bluebonnets will grow and flower just fine."  

Divide perennials. Transplant or give away your divisions of: daylily, bearded iris, shasta daisies, violets, wood ferns, and cannas.

Start, or add to, a compost pile.

Be on the lookout for Brown Patch in the (usually St. Augustine) lawn. Treat brown patch by increasing the beneficial soil life. Topdress with good quality manure compost and/or spray lawn with aerobically brewed compost tea. Add corn meal at 20 pounds per 1000 square feet. Apply Actinovate at one pound per 1000 square feet of problem area. Also address other causal factors by filling in low spots, mowing at the proper height, and watering and feeding properly.

Plant cool-season cover crops. Plant clovers, hairy vetch, Austrian winter peas, or annual rye instead of mulching, and till them in next spring before they flower. Cereal rye is a cover crop that can assist in controlling the root-knot nematode in the soil. If you plant Cereal rye, it should be cut and tilled in before it gets to be a foot tall. For all cover crops, wait at least a couple of weeks after tilling before you plant anything else, to allow the organic matter to decompose.

Plant naturalizing bulbs. Unlike so-called Dutch bulbs that require refrigeration and have to be replanted each year, naturalizing are well-suited to our soils and climate, and they’ll make themselves right at home in a Central Texas garden. Anemones, Oxblood Lilies, Spider Lilies, Grape Muscari, and many types of Narcissus have been gracing Austin homesteads for well over a hundred years, and they continue to thrive today. A wise gardener once observed, “there's no substituting for wild genetic vigor in any plant,” and these beautiful flowering bulbs prove it. They’ll return year after year, they’ll increase in number, and they require virtually no care.  Here are just a few types of bulbs that can naturalize here: Anemone; Allium; Byzantine Gladiola; Crocus; Daffodil/Narcissus: "Carbineer," "Carlton," "Ceylon," "Delibes," "Earlicheer," "Fortune," "Grand Primo," "Ice Follies," "Mount Hood," "Paperwhites," and "Rustom Pasha;" Freesia; Hyacinth orientalis var. albulus (French-Roman hyacinth); Ipheion uniflorum (blue starflowers); Iris; Lycoris squamigera (magic lily); Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake); Muscari neglectum (a.k.a. M. racemosum or M. atlanticum); Tulipa bakeri, Tulipa clusiana, Tulipa linifolia, Tulipa sylvestris; Zephyranthes candida (rain lily); and Zephyranthes drummondii (giant prairie lily).

Spray lawn and landscape weekly with seaweed spray. Seaweed's potassium, along with other minerals and hormones, makes it the perfect anti-freeze for all plants. Other benefits include increased disease and pest resistance and promotion of flowering. For best results, spray in the early morning or in the evening.

 
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