By Lynn Barber
Either you love or hate “to do” lists. For those of you that love lists, here’s my list of fall “to do’s”:
Water less: Decrease landscape irrigation frequency. Consider turning off irrigation controller and watering only when plants need water. Consider a microirrigation kit for landscape beds.
Mulch more frequently and as needed: Mulch retains soil moisture, regulates soil temperature, adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes, suppresses weed growth, reduces stormwater runoff and erosion, enhances the beauty of your landscape, provides increased area for root growth and protects plants from lawnmowers and weed eaters. Mulch should be 2-3 inches deep after it settles.
Plant: It’s a great time to plant fall vegetables and also shrubs and trees that are cold-hardy. November is the last month to plant strawberries. To view copies of the University of Florida publications, Central Florida Gardening Calendar, by Sydney Park Brown, visit bit.ly/1kr51jN and The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide, by Sydney Park Brown, et al, visit bit.ly/O5ElFt.
Insect control: The most challenging aspect of controlling insects can well be proper identification of the pest, which is critical to selecting the proper method of control. If you don’t know what the insect is, contact our office or bring in the pest in a sealed plastic bag. There are many environmentally safe pest solutions available.
Divide and conquer your perennials: Divide clumping perennials to spread their beauty throughout your landscape and “gift” them to a special friend or neighbor.
Cuttings for spring: Take cuttings of plants that won’t survive the winter outdoors. This is a great way to start your spring plant collection in your home, on your lanai or porch, depending on the temperatures.
Relocate houseplants: If your houseplants were outside for the summer/early fall, it’s time to consider bringing them inside your home before temperatures dip below 55 degrees.
For more information or for assistance with gardening related questions, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County at 744-5519, visit us at 5339 C.R. 579 in Seffner, or hillsborough./ifas.ufl.edu.