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October Organic Maintenance



          Cool-season, leaf and root crops such as beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots,collards, garlic, lettuce, spinach, strawberries and turnips.

           Dianthus, English daisies, flowering cabbage garlic, Iceland poppies, kale, nasturtium,  pansies, pinks, snapdragons, violas, and wallflowers.

           All the perennial herbs as well as coriander, dill and parsley.

          Transplant established spring-flowering bulbs, iris, daylilies, daisies, peonies, etc. if necessary.

           Hardy perennials, especially spring flowering plants.

           Finish warm-season lawn grass plantings by seed by early October.  Quality solid sod can be planted anytime that quality grass is available.  Be sure to wet the soil of the sod before planting.  Apply a thin layer of  compost to the surface after planting.

           Wildflower seeds if you haven’t planted them already.

           Trees, shrubs, vines, and spring-and summer-flowering perennials.

           Cool-season grasses such as rye and fescue.  It is also time to plant clover, vetch, Austin winter peas and other cool season crops.



           Broadcast dry molasses for any plants not looking well.  Feed all planting areas with an organic fertilizer at approximately 10 – 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.

           Spray Garrett Juice Plus and drench plant roots with Garrett Juice Plus and Bio S.I.

           Feed trees by treating the soil surface or top few inches.  Avoid “deep root” feeding.



           Tree limbs that are broken, diseased or in the way.  Dangerous limbs that might fall.   Do not make flush cuts and use no pruning paint or wound dressing. Do not over-prune any trees.

           Root-prune wisterias that have failed to bloom.   This may or may not help.

           Remove spent blooms of summer flowering perennials.

           Do not prune knees from bald cypress trees – they are partof the  root system. Instead change the root zone areas from grass to ground cover or mulch.



           INSECTS: Spray aerated compost tea.

           DISEASES: Spray PlantWash or hydrogen peroxide.

           Spray weeds and grass around tree trunks with vinegar.  Use 9 – 10 % with 1 oz. orange oil, 1 tbs. molasses and 1 tsp. liquid soap per gallon.  Fatty acid products can also be helpful.




           All plants deeply during dry spells. Greensand at 40 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.  Greensand is important because it contains many trace minerals.  Iron may not be (probably isn’t) the only deficiency.



           Mulch all bare soil with shredded tree trimmings. Shredded material from your own property is best.  If it is partially composted or mixed with compost, is better.  Rubber, colored wood, cypress, and pine bark should be avoided.

           Mow weekly and leave the clippings on the lawn.  Those with buffalo grass can mow less often, as little as once a year.

           Build new compost piles, turn old ones and water dry ones.

           Use quality compost and other organic amendments to prepare new planting beds.  See the Organic Guides on the home page of for complete bed preparation details.

           To re-flower a poinsettia, give it uninterrupted darkness 14 hours each day and 10 hours of bright light each day until December. It’s better to buy new plants each year.

           Use compost or shredded tree trimmings as a top-dressing mulch for ornamentals 
and vegetables.

           Feed and water the birds!

*Planting recommendations based on North Texas climate, which is zone 8. Check with your local nurseries and extension service for specific varieties and timing.

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