As days grow shorter and temperatures cool down, it is a great time to be outside enjoying our beautiful weather — and it’s the perfect time to get your outdoor space ready for a frost or the first hard freeze, which usually happens about Halloween or in early November in central Oklahoma.
If you still have tropical houseplants outside, plan to keep an eye on predicted temperatures and bring them in once night temperatures begin to fall below 50 F.
It’s a good idea to check houseplants now for any pests, such as aphids or spider mites, which they may have attracted while outside this summer. You could treat with a product labeled for houseplant pests before bringing the plants in.
For a simple, safe, homemade spray to help treat houseplants for insect pests before bringing them indoors, add 3 tablespoons of dish soap and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a gallon of water. Add to a sprayer, shake well and spray foliage before you bring them inside.
If houseplants have become root bound over the summer, you could transplant to a slightly bigger container before bringing them in. Don’t transplant to a much larger container since this can cause root rot — and be sure to use a high-quality potting soil.
Fall is for planting, so continue to plant trees and shrubs this month. If you are looking for trees or shrubs to give your landscape fall interest, the perfect time to purchase them from nurseries and garden centers is when they are in fall color so you can see their display and select the colors you prefer.
Plant cool-season annuals like pansies and ornamental cabbage or kale now. If you purchase chrysanthemums, be sure to get “Garden Mums” instead of “Florists’ Mums” if you wish to plant them and have them perennialize. Hosta and peonies and many other perennials can be planted at this time.
Begin to plant spring-flowering bulbs like hyacinths, crocus and daffodils. Wait until the cooler weather of November to plant tulips but be sure to purchase now. Plant bulbs at a depth of two times their diameter.