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Ultimate Fall Guide

With fall and winter right around the corner, it is time to start preparing your plants and landscaping for the cooler months. It is important to your plant’s health to make sure you prepare them for the changing seasons. We sat down with our buyers to create the ultimate fall guide for your plants and landscaping. This includes information on topics such as optimal planting times, lawn prep, useful tools and products, and treatments that help your plants transition into the cooler months. For more in depth information and questions you may have about you personal plants at home, come in and speak with a team member today!


Recommended Products

This is a list of the top products you need for fall! You can shop these items through our online store by clicking the highlighted products. If something is out of stock, try the search bar at the top of the page, or check back in a week or two to see if they have been restocked.

Liquid Seaweed: This product has over 90 components that help your plants become more disease/fungal resistant, and more able to withstand temperature changes. Simply spray plants every two weeks leading up to cooler weather. If you haven’t already begun to spray your plants, we recommend starting now. This product should be used on fruit trees and indoor plants, especially those that are kept outside until cooler weather!

N-sulate blankets or Plankets. These are plant freeze blankets and are far better than using tarps, sheets, or plastic! Plant blankets allow light and air through, but block moisture, so they can be left on your plants for longer periods without smothering them.
N-sulate blankets work by covering plants and trapping the heat of the earth inside. Correct usage requires you to weigh down the edges to prevent cool air from entering the blanket.
Plankets are for container plants, working the same way, except they cinch around the base of the plant. With the 2020 winter storm Uri, we sold out of these quickly. Stock up as soon as you see they are in stock so you don’t have to scramble later on!

Clippers, Trimmers, & Loppers: Native perennials, trees, and shrubs will all be able to withstand our winter weather. Most perennials will go dormant for the winter with our first hard frost, meaning the tops will brown but the root system will still be alive. Some trees, such as Crape Myrtles, will also go dormant. When they are completely free of foliage, this will be a great time to trim and shape. We carry all types of clippers, trimmers, and loppers. Feel free to bring in pictures of dormant plants and trees and we can help you to decide how and where to trim. 

Corn Gluten: It isn’t too late to lay down pre-emergent for your lawn. We carry spreadable Corn Gluten which is a great option for your lawn! This will cut down weeds for the next season. To help your lawn for the winter, spread MicroLife Humates Plus and water in with Medina Soil Activator. This will help aerate the lawn and soften hard, compact soils.

Plant Caddies: When the night temperatures dip below the 45 degree mark, it is time to bring tropicals and houseplants inside. If the containers are large, or you don’t have a lot of help, plant caddies are a great tool! Having large pots on either a wooden or metal caddie with solid rolling casters makes rolling pots into homes much easier!

MicroLife 6-2-4 & Systemic Houseplant Granules: Before bringing your houseplants and other ornamental container plants inside for the winter, fertilize with MicroLife 6-2-4 and treat with Systemic Houseplant Granules. This way no bugs will come in and the fertilizer is good for the 2+ months the plants will be inside. Make sure to find the right lighting for your ornamentals. 

Grow Lights: When bringing your ornamentals inside, check the lighting for your plants. If your home has low lighting, we do carry 4 alternatives of grow lights, shop them here.

Mulch: When there is a hard freeze (32 degrees or below for 4 hours or longer), make sure to water all outdoor plants well, even deep watering young trees. Place mulch 3-4 inches in beds as well. Water and mulch will act as insulators for root systems. 

Garden bucket: These garden buckets are GREAT for collecting leaves and other debris. They are durable and have handles, making it easy to transport the leaves from the ground into the correct vessel such as leaf bags or your compost.

Rake & Hoe: these fantastic tools should be on hand at all times! If you have a yard space and landscaping, these tools should be in your tool shed!


What to plant and when to plant it

Below are our graphics for herbs and veggies that should be planted in the fall. We will attach the images that span from August – January. For further questions, speak to Randi our annuals and veggies buyer! She is an expert in gardening topics!

Click here for our year-round planting guide


Fall Colors & Planting Resources

Nothing makes you happy quite like colorful florae blooms. Get the most out of the growing season by planting seasonal colors! Here’s a short list of fall and winter bloomers that provide beautiful colors to your landscape. There are many more varieties beyond this list, so we will link you to some products and resources for more in-depth research!

Fall Annuals:

  • Calendulas
  • Mums
  • Nasturtiums
  • Ornamental Cabbage/Kale
  • Snapdragons
  • Sowing of wildflower seeds
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Sweet Peas

Fall Perennials:

  • Althea
  • Abelia
  • Autumn Sages (salvia greggii)
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Copper Canyon Daisy
  • Echibeckia
  • Mexican Bush Sage
  • Mexican Firebush
  • Plumbago
  • Tropical Milkweed


Winter Annuals:

  • Calendula
  • Cyclamen
  • Dianthus
  • Larkspur
  • Ornamental Cabbage/Kale
  • Pansies
  • Spring blooming bulbs
  • Stock
  • Violas

The Garden Guide For Austin and Vicinity is available for purchase and is an excellent resource not only for annuals and flower gardening, but for ALL things landscape related. When to plant certain veggies, what shrubs do well here, how to prune trees, and even the basics of design are all included in this guide. For flowers, it features a calendar of when to plant, varieties that do well here, and annuals for different areas (hot and dry, poor soil, or screening). Click here to purchase yours now!

Click the links below for great resources on what perennials and annuals to plant throughout the year in Texas:

Texas A&M AgriLife breakdown for Travis County

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center – Website

Ladybird Johnson Wild Flower – Milkweed Specific Resource


Fall/Winter Yard Prep

This is a guideline for seasonal fertilizing, mowing, and care for your lawn. Using organics in your lawn is environmentally friendly, supports your turf’s ecology, and builds strong colonies of beneficial microbes and fungi, all of which support the overall health of your lawn.

Following the schedule outlined will result in less time and energy spent in maintenance of your turf (including weeding, irrigation, and disease issues) and more time enjoying your lawn. Click on the highlighted products to place your order through our online store!

September:
If you have an issue with Brown Patch or other fungal problems, apply MicroLife Brown Patch or MicroGro Innoculant now.

October: 
The most important feeding of the year! Fertilize with MicroLife 6-2-4 and Humates Plus. Time to also apply Corn Gluten (pre-emergent for weeds). This will help to reduce the weeds for winter and early spring weed production.

Late Jan/Early Feb:
If your soil is hard/compacted: prior to an application of organic fertilizer, spreading compost and/or homages is recommended. Aeration for compacted lawns is recommended as well either by a machine or done with biological soil stimulants such as Medina Plus or Garrett Juice.

If you anticipate weed problems, apply Corn Gluten (acts as a pre-emergent) this will dramatically reduce the number of weeds in the lawn for the next season.

We recommend MicroLife 6-2-4 as your organic fertilizer. If Brown Patch or other fungal issues are a problem in your lawn, use MicroLife Brown Patch 5-1-3 instead.

March/April: 
This is a great time to apply Horticultural Molasses – 10 lbs per 1,000 sq ft will energize the soil microbes. Also a good time to apply Beneficial Nematodes for flea, grub, and ant control.

June:
Optional second fertilization of the year. Just like spring, use MicroLife 6-2-4 and Humates Plus. DO NOT spread compost on your yard when it is hot because it can brown your grass. Humates Plus will not burn. For a quick green-up and boost for the lawn, spray Medina Hasta Gro Lawn Food. Consistent, deep watering through the hot summer is very important. By combining deep watering with MicroLife products, you will develop a much deeper root system. The result will be a thicker, hardier, more established and drought tolerant lawn.

WEED PREVENTION

  1. Water lawn first, then pull weeds whenever possible.
  2. Mow weekly, even in winter. This will keep seed heads from forming on weeds (no bagging needed) giving nitrogen back to the soil.
  3. Use 20% Vinegar to kill pesky weeds. Don’t dilute and spray in hottest part of day.
  4. Spread Corn Gluten as listed above.

TO IMPROVE LAWN

At any time of the year, there are amendments that can be added to new and existing lawns for improvement in drainage, greening, and overall health such as:

Humates: dry or liquid
Soil Activator or Medina Plus
SuperThrive
Molasses: dry or liquid
Liquid Seaweed
Beneficial Nematodes
Lava Sand
GreenSand


Beneficial Nematodes – Lawn Use

KEEP NEMATODES REFRIGERATED UNTIL USE!

Usage:

Beneficial Nematodes attack more than 230 kinds of soil dwelling and wood boring pests such as flea larvae, white grubs, cutworms, fungus gnat larvae, fire ants and many more!  Nematodes are microscopic worms that live in the soil and attack these pests. Nematodes are safe for children, pets, and all plants. They are not to be confused with the Root-Knot Nematode, which is a pest that this beneficial species will attack.

General Release:

  1. Moisten treatment area before and after applying nematodes.
  2. Remove any screens or filters from your sprayer before applying.
  3. Do NOT apply nematodes during the day. UV rays damage and kill them, so apply at dawn or dusk.
  4. You will need the following for the mix and spray method:
    cheesecloth or fine strainer, an unused hose-end sprayer, and 2 large jars with lids. 

    We recommend the following steps:
    A) Get 2 quart size Mason jars with lids. Empty nematode contents into jar, fill with water, and shake contents periodically for 20 mins until separated.
    B) Strain jar contents using cheesecloth or strainer. The liquid has all your nematodes inside, so make sure none of the water goes to waste.
    C) Pour that liquid into a hose-end sprayer and set it to 2 tsp to start. Keep the strained material for any area you would like to apply directly. 
    D) Spray on affected area. Shake the sprayer occasionally as they tend to settle to the bottom!
  5. Do NOT store nematodes in the water and use them immediately. Nematodes cannot breathe in water.
  6. After applying nematodes, water them into soil quickly.  If covering a large area, do small sections at a time; applying nematodes, then water in repeatedly.
  7. To maintain nematodes’ effectiveness, water thoroughly once a week.


APPLICATION FOR FIRE ANTS:

Use half the contents of the nematode container, returning the remainder of container to the refrigerator. Mix them in to 3-4 gallons of cool water then saturate each ant mound. Use 1/2 gallon on large ant mounds, 1 quart on medium mounds, and 1 pint on small mounds.  Repeat procedure in 5-7 days.


APPLICATION FOR FLEAS:

There can be different stages of fleas in your yard at once: adults, eggs, larvae, and pupa. The nematodes attack the larvae of fleas, so it is best to apply nematodes in two doses. If there is a severe flea infestation, it is best to use double the amount of nematodes recommended per square foot. Using half the recommended amount of nematodes for general application, mix the following instructions. Spray according to the instructions and repeat in 5-7 days.

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