The KPRC Radio Gardenline Tip By Randy Lemmon For 10-16-03 Printer-Friendly Version
October the best month for landscaping
I bet many of you weren't aware of this, but in Texas October is considered probably THE BEST month for landscaping projects. Many plants can be set out now and their roots have plenty of time to still establish before what we know of as winter comes rolling along. It doesn't matter how ragged the leaves of a transplanted tree look, or even if they lose all their leaves upon transplant. The most important thing in using the month of October as a landscaping re-do, is root establishment. And unless your backside is glued to the lounge chair watching football, I don't think you'll ever find weather as amenable as it is right now.
What if you aren't a do-it-yourselfer? Fear not, since almost every landscape company worth their salt in Houston, also believes that October and early November can be one of the best opportunities to revamp landscapes. And statistically speaking, you can usually get a better deal from landscapers at this time of the year, because not everyone knows as much as you know now, that October is a great time to re-do landscape elements. So, historically, some landscapers have offered price breaks during this time of the year.
October is also the perfect time to be replacing plants lost due to this summer's drought, or for that matter gardening negligence. Plus, most nurseries have the lowest prices of the year on plant material. I don't think I'm giving away any industry secrets, but if they can keep from keeping any plant in stock during the winter, they'll be very happy.
And October is bulb-buying month. They are in fresh supply, and provide welcome late winter and early spring color for the yard. Bulbs that can be planted right after purchasing include daffodils and the smaller flowered jonquils, species tulips and grape hyacinths. The larger showy tulips and hyacinths need to be refrigerated at least 45 to 60 days to provide enough chilling to bloom properly next year. Plant them anytime from last November through early January.
Finally, if all this seems like too much work for you, at the very least please use the autumn months to revamp your mulch in the bed. At least it will look a little like you've done some work to the landscape. And the ultimate benefit of the mulch addition is to protect root systems from future cold weather, prevent weeds and conserve precious moisture.
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.