Mexican milkweed may carry virus which keeps Monarch butterflies from completely developing

Please give me a few hints for getting my landscape ready for the fall.

Here are a few off the top of my head:

#1. Cut down milkweed (especially the multi-colored Mexican variety – Asclepias curassavica) plants in October because we want the monarchs to move south for the winter.  You are not doing them a favor to provide food for them.  If we have a freeze, they will die.  Please, please, please be considerate of these wonderful creatures.

#2. Remove the hummingbird feeder.  Clean it with hot water and store it for the winter.

#3. Clean the seed feeders.  You will have winter visitors, but this is the time to remove any mold and debris, so you can start fresh.  Start with new, clean seed; your feathered friends will thank you.

#4. Fertilizing should be finished for the year; plants will be going into dormancy.

#5. Cut back your irrigation soon to once a week in full sun. Less in shade. The goal is ½ inch every time you irrigate.  Remember – that is the law, even if you have a well.  Houses with even number addresses start once a week on Sunday, November 4th.  Houses with odd number addresses start once a week on Saturday, November 10.

#6. Start preparing for potential freezes.  Tender perennials and citrus will need to be protected from cold temperatures when possible.

#7.  We will be slowing down on the number of times we need to mow the lawn, so have the mower blades sharpened.

#8.  Fall vegetable gardens should be in full swing, but there is still time to plant those cool season vegetables.  If you want to know what to plant, please call the Extension office for the best cultivars for our area.  (904 530-6353).

#9. We are still in hurricane season so think about removing lawn grass off the root areas of your trees – this can cause the tree to be a risk in hurricanes.  Do not remove too much of the lower limbs of the tree causing it to be top heavy – this too can cause the tree to be at risk of falling.

#10. Fall is a great time to transplant bulbs and rhizomes. This is the best time to plant new trees and shrubs too.  Remember, when planting trees or shrubs, do NOT amend the soil (NO BLACK KOW), plant just at or slightly above soil level and do not fertilize for 6 weeks or more.