• Add mums and fall asters for extra landscape color.
  • Spread wildflower seeds in a cleared bed for spring blooms. Doug Welsh suggests ¼ lb of mixed fresh wildflower seeds per 500 square feet. Identify the successful bloomers next spring and add more of that type the following fall.
  • Add lilies, daisies and coneflower transplants or divide existing plants for spring flowering.
  • Plant colorful geraniums to containers to accent entrances and patio seating areas. These plants tolerate frost and should provide color throughout the fall.
  • Plant warm-season grasses including St. Augustine, Bermuda and zoysia to allow them time to establish before cold weather. Keep sod or seeds moist. See Aggie Turf for information on establishing and caring for North Texas grasses.
  • Add cool season vegetable crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage transplants as well as seeds for root crops, like beets and carrots. Provide shade cover while the plants adjust and place mulch on top of the soil to retain moisture. See Aggie Horticulture Fall Planting Guide.
  • Break off healthy shoots of annuals such as coleus, ornamental chartreuse and maroon sweet potatoes or geraniums. Root them in water or soil-less medium and protect containers through winter. Replant in spring.

  • Lightly prune shrubs, such as red-tipped photinias and evergreens, to promote regrowth before cold weather.
  • Remove dead branches from trees and shrubs and gently shape.
  • Remove brown plants from your landscape beds and replace with fall color spot annuals or perennials.

  • Add organic material to your vegetable garden to replace what has decomposed during the summer heat.
  • Apply pre-emergent weed killer to your lawn early in the month to keep winter weeds from growing in your dormant turf.
  • Fertilize clumps of established warm-weather, small-flowered landscape plants, such as narcissus.
Watch For:

  • Aphids on your roses. Use a blast of water with insecticidal soap to remove them.
  • Make sure your rose bushes have enough air circulation to keep the leaves dry to avoid powdery mildew and black spot that can kill foliage before the plant stores enough energy for over-wintering.
  • Brown patch – 12 to 18 inch circles of yellow blades — in your St. Augustine.
  • Fall web worms forming webs at the end of branches. Remove twigs and place in closed plastic bags for trash pickup.
  • Effects of sustained drought on turf grasses.  This article from AggieTurf provides suggestions for turf water management during drought conditions.
Thanks to Neil Sperry for information from his “Texas Gardening Calendar” and the “Texas Gardener Magazine” magazine. Other sources that helped provide ideas or content include PLANTAnswers Garden Calendar, “Texas Garden Almanac” by Doug Welsh and “Texas Gardener’s Resource” by Dale Groom and Dan Gill.

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