October Garden Guide

gillnurseryMonthly Garden Guide2 Comments

Fall is Our Best Planting Season!

Trees, shrubs, and perennials get a great bonus when planted in fall. South Texas enjoys relatively warm soil temperatures through fall and winter, and cooler air  temperatures direct the new plant to grow roots all through this time. So, a plant put into the ground in fall will grow twice as fast the following spring as one planted in spring due to having developed twice the root system, and it will also suffer much less stress in its first South Texas summer. We are lucky that we can garden year round here, but fall is our best season for planting!


Vegetable Seeds

Beet, carrot, cilantro, collards, lettuce, mustard, onion, parsley, radish, Swiss chard, spinach, and turnip.

Read: Best Timing for Popular Fall VeggiesKeith’s Swiss Chard Success Story

Flower Seeds

Bluebonnets and other wildflowers, larkspur, sweet peas, nasturtiums.

Read: Fall is Wildflower Planting Time!

Vegetable Transplants

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, strawberries, parsley, cilantro, and other herbs.

Read: How to Keep Your Vegetable Garden Healthy This Fall

Read: Get Your Greens! Sally’s Kale Smoothie Recipe

Flower Transplants

Alyssum, begonias, bluebonnet, calendula, chrysanthemum, dianthus (pinks) dusty miller, flowering cabbage and kale, geraniums, gerbera daisy, impatiens, lobelia, marigolds, pansies, petunias, phlox, salvia, snapdragons, stock, verbenas, and viola.

Read: Success with Fall Flowers, Marigolds & Mums!

Flower Bulbs

Begin refrigerating bulbs that require chilling such as paperwhites. Amaryllis can be planted now.

Read: Amaryllis & Paperwhites

All container grown trees and shrubs.

Read: Burr Oak – an Awesome South Texas Tree

Read: Best Tips of Planting Trees This Fall

Indoor Plants
  • Check the window lighting for your indoor plants. The sun is moving with the change of the season and may bring more or less light indoors. 
  • Heater vents can cause blemished foliage and dry plants out more quickly. Watch your placement of any new plants coming indoors. 
  • With cold fronts coming, plan to move your house plants indoors, if you have moved any outside during warmer weather. Provide adequate lighting & adjust watering. 
  • Let this be your last feeding for your outdoor tropical plants that are becoming houseplants for the winter. They need to rest.
  • Keep watch for any tagalong critters or insects & move them back outdoors. Treat if needed.


Winterize Your Lawn

Winterize your lawn with organic Milorganite or Medina Growin’ Green, or conventional Gill 13-1-3, or Supreme lawn food.


We recommend: Hibiscus Food

Organic: Maestro Rose Glo


Organic: Maestro Rose Glo


Organic: with Maestro Rose Glo

Blooming Annuals and Perennials

Organic: Medina Growin Green, Hasta Gro or Maestro Rose Glo

Conventional: Hibiscus Food, or Osmocote 14-14-14 Time Release

Read: Success with Fall Flowers


Organic: Hasta Gro, Maestro Rose Glo, or Plant Tone

Conventional: Hi Yield Ammonium Sulphate, or Osmocote 14-4-14 Time Release Granules

Christmas Cactus

Organic: Hasta Gro

Read: How to Get Your Christmas Cactus to Bloom!

All plants that are especially stressed, or recently transplanted

We recommend (organic): Hasta Gro or Super Thrive

Read: It’s Time to Fertilize for Fall!

Lawn Care


Apply conventional Bayer Lawn Fungus or Fertilome F-Stop as a preventative to brown patch fungus, which shows up as temperatures drop during  fall and winter months.

Apply organic Nature’s Blend or Peat Moss to lawns prone to Take All Patch Fungus, or conventional Scotts Disease X.

Read: Protect Your Lawn: Recent Take All Root Rot Sightings (TARR)

Continue to water deeply every 1 to 2 weeks if little rainfall.

Read: Top Five Tips for a Beautiful Fall Lawn, Fall and Winter Lawn Care

Watch Out For

Masses of worms eating your oak tree.

Treat with organic Spinosad or Thuricide or conventional Cyonara

Read: Oak Tree Caterpillars

White Flies on tropicals and perennials, especially lantana and hibiscus.

Treat with organic Spinosad, Insecticidal Soap, Neem Oil, or conventional Bayer Rose & Flower, Bayer Tree & Shrub

Watch: Yucky Whitefly

Caterpillars or their damage (chewed leaves).

Spray with organic Spinosad or Thuricide or conventional Cyonara

Read: Not All Caterpillars are Bad!


Use Mosquito Beater Liquid for quick kill or Mosquito Beater Granules to repel

Read: Mosquito Solutions

Grub Worms in Lawns

Treat with Bayer 24 hour Grub Control Granules

Chinch Bugs in Lawns

Treat with organic Diatromaceous Earth, Spinosad or conventional Cyonara

Watch: How to Check for Chinch Bugs in Your Lawn

Mealy Bugs

Treat with organic Neem Oil or Spinosad Soap or conventional Cyonara, or Bonide Systemic Liquid or Granule

Read: Mealy Bugs are Here!

Fleas and Ticks

Treat lawns with organic Spinosad, or Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer or conventional Cyonara

Powdery Mildew on Crape Myrtles & Roses

Use organic Neem Oil or conventional Fertilome Systemic Fungicide

Note: Please, Please, Please, don’t kill the bees!

They are one of the best sources we have to pollinate our fruits, vegetables, flowers, and shrubs.

Read: Best for Bees!




Water your newly planted vegetables and bedding plants regularly, but take care not to overwater with cooler nighttime temperatures.

Cut back on watering your established plants and lawn as temperatures cool down, since they use less water. If you are unsure when to water, use a moisture meter to take out the guesswork.


Your hardy, woody ornamentals and tropicals only to shape, not severely.

Summer perennials.

2 Comments on “October Garden Guide”

  1. I have a navel orange tree that needs help. its planted on the island. Been there since 2006. Had huge crop of oranges every year. HOWEVER, after Harvey the crop has been minimal and the fruit is poor texture/taste. Thats 2 years ago. My neighbors are missing their free oranges as well . Do you have/recommend a good citrus fertilizer and or anything else to help .

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