Average temperatures: High 85, low 65
Rainfall: 2.73 inches
1. The moon phases
Last quarter: Oct. 6
New moon: Oct. 14
First quarter: Oct. 21
Full moon: Oct. 28
2. Moon sign planting dates
Above-ground crops: 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25
Below-ground crops: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 28, 29
Control weeds: 3, 4, 22, 23, 30, 31
Prune trees & shrubs: 8, 9, 18, 19, 26, 27
3. Vegetables: Beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onion, peas, potato, radicchio, radish, rhubarb, roquette, rutabaga, spinach, strawberry, Swiss chard and turnip
4. Flowers: African daisy, alyssum, angelonia, ageratum, begonia, black-eyed Susan, blue daze, calendula, candytuft, celosia, chrysanthemums, cleome, coleus, cornflower, cosmos, dianthus, dusty miller, gaillardia, gazania, geraniums, gerbera, heliotrope, hollyhock, impatiens, larkspur, lobelia, nasturtium, nicotiana, pentas, petunia, salvia, snapdragon, sunflower, sweet pea, verbena and zinnia
5. Herbs: Anise, basil, bay laurel, borage, cardamom, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic, lavender, lemon balm, lovage, mint, nasturtium, oregano, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram, tarragon, thyme and watercress
6. Bulbs: African lily, agapanthus, amaryllis, anemone, bulbine, calla, crinum, day lily, gingers, gladiolus, pineapple lily, rain lily, society garlic, spider lilies, walking iris, watsonia
Refrigerate crocus, daffodils, hyacinth, narcissus and tulips for forcing.
7. Rains have varied in providing needed moisture; some lawns were dry for a week or more.
8. Try to water turf when it shows signs of moisture stress as permitted.
9. Many lawns have thinned during the summer; give good care now to encourage growth.
10. Lawn feeding time has arrived; use a product made for your lawn type
11. Lawn fertilizers normally have no phosphorus as the middle number in the analysis.
12. October is the last feeding for bahia, centipede and zoysia lawns this year.
11. Weed & feed products can be substituted for a product with only fertilizer.
13. Fill bare spots in lawns left from summer pests with sod or plugs.
14. Seeding time for bahiagrass is over; delay rye seedings until late November.
15. Chinch bugs and sod webworms can linger into fall; control as needed
16. Adjust irrigation systems to water lawns separately from other plantings.
17. Trim grass away from sprinklers and adjust them to ensure proper operation.
18. Use soil aeration in compacted and poorly drained soils to encourage better root growth.
19. Use weed control products as needed to control established weeds or seeds.
20. Many different weeds grow in lawns; some may need a specific herbicide for control.
21. Continue mowing to maintain proper turf height.
22. Change the oil and air filters of gas-powered equipment for fall.
23. Sharpen and balance mower blades.
24. Use mulch or ornamental ground covers in areas where turf won’t grow.
Vegetable and fruit tree care
25. Nine months of great gardening are ahead.
26. Remove all declining crops left from summer.
27. Plant the warm-season vegetables during early October.
28. Select large transplants of warm-season tomatoes, eggplant and peppers for the garden.
29. Gardeners cramped for space can grow vegetables in containers.
30. Begin planting the cool-season vegetables when temperatures moderate.
31. Stay alert for caterpillars, aphids and leaf miners; control with natural insecticides.
32. Trellis or stake all tall growing vegetables to help keep them pest-free and easy to harvest.
33. Groom summer-weary herb plantings and start new ones that prefer the cooler weather.
34. Install micro sprinklers in gardens to water efficiently and conserve water.
35. Most vegetables need moist soil; water when the surface soil begins to dry to the touch.
36. Start seeds for transplants of broccoli, cauliflower and similar vegetables in containers.
37. Feed in-ground vegetables every 3 to 4 weeks; container gardens weekly if needed for growth.
38. Fruit splitting on citrus trees is normal and may continue into the fall.
39. Help prevent citrus fruit drop and splitting; water once or twice a week during dry weather.
40. Give citrus a final feeding of the year during early October.
41. Add a mulch to the surface of the soil to conserve moisture and keep the vegetables dirt-free.
42. Till new garden sites and enrich sandy soils with garden soil, organic matter and manure.
43. Remove offshoots from pineapple plants to start new beds.
44. Start papaya seedlings for late winter transplants.
45. Add strawberry plants to a garden or build a pyramid for planting.
46. Delay pruning all fruit plantings until mid to late winter.
47. Speed up the composting process by turning the piles monthly.
48. Begin harvesting early-season navel, Satsuma and Hamlin citrus.
49. Harvest maturing chayotes, cocoyams, dasheens and gourds.
50. Some plants suffered due to varying rains; remove declining plants and add others.
51. Check container plantings for plugged drainage holes; repotting may be needed.
52. Crape myrtles are dropping their leaves, which is normal as they go dormant.
53. Poinsettia and azalea pruning time is over for this year except for out-of-bounds shoots.
54. Shield poinsettias from nighttime lights starting mid-month.
55. The dry season is ahead; moisten only as needed to conserve water.
56. Most established trees and shrubs can go a week or more between waterings.
57. Trim away limbs and weeds affecting the operation of sprinkler systems.
58. Maintain a mulch under trees and shrubs; start the mulch several inches from trunks.
59. Give palms and shrubs a final feeding of the year with a slow-release fertilizer.
60. Use a slow-release fertilizer that can feed in-ground and container plants for months.
61. Determine tree needs and plant smaller growing wind-resistant species.
62. Check tree and palm supports to make sure they are secure but not damaging the plants.
63. Add fall plants to hanging baskets and container gardens.
64. Edge sidewalks and plant beds.
65. Replace soil in problem flower beds and planters.
66. Replant flower beds with cool season annuals and perennials; delay pansies until November.
67. Divide perennial and bulb plantings.
68. Trim back chrysanthemums after flowering to encourage new buds.
69. Check rose foliage for mites and black spot; control as needed.
70. Give hedges a final trimming.
71. Remove suckers and low limbs from trees.
72. Give water lilies and bog plants a monthly feeding.
73. Clean and repair fences, outdoor furniture and landscape structures.
74. Add a bird bath and other water features to provide moisture for wildlife.
House & foliage plant care
75. Adding plants to the home reduces pollution and creates a pleasing atmosphere.
76. Groom outdoor foliage plants and begin moving them to a warm location.
77. Give root balls of plants coming indoors a five-minute soak in water to float out pests.
78. Begin forcing amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus for indoor displays.
79. Replace declining plants with new ones for the home and patio.
80. Remove declining foliage and faded flowers from home and patio plants.
81. Reduce watering of holiday cactuses to when the surface soil is dry and stop feedings.
82. Make sure poinsettias, holiday cactuses and kalanchoes receive no nighttime light.
83. Feed plants in bright light monthly.
84. Wash plant foliage to remove dust and pests.
85. Water when the surface soil begins to feel dry to the touch.
Tom MacCubbin is an urban horticulturist emeritus with the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service. Write him: Orlando Sentinel, P.O. Box 2833, Orlando, FL. 32802. Email: TomMac1996@aol.com.