Timely Tips for October
in the Low Desert
Tip of The Month
can be spread by an insect picking up the virus while feeding on a sick plant
and then carrying it to the healthy one he feeds on next. They can also be spread
by well meaning humans who cut away the infected branch, but forget to sterilize
the pruning shears before cutting in to a healthy branch. They can be splashed
up out of the soil and on to leaves or from sick leaves to healthy leaves by a
sprinkler or hose. To decrease the spread of diseases in your landscape: dispose
of infected plants immediately before the disease can be spread to others. Pick
up rotting fruit or dead leaves, which can be a source of disease. When in doubt,
throw them out, do not compost diseased materials. Disinfect your tools between
pruning cuts with alcohol or a 10% bleach solution. Apply water to the soil, do
not allow it to splash up onto the leaves of plants. With plants, prevention is
Climate Information for October
in Phoenix, Arizona
Average: 0.7 inches
Temperature (degrees F):
Record: 4.4 inches (1972)
Note: Rainfall and temperatures vary widely within the valley depending upon elevation and microclimate.
To Do List . . .
Apply one inch of water per week to Bermuda lawns
A light application of potassium on Bermuda in the fall will enable it to come out of dormancy in the spring with greater vigor.
Overseed established Bermuda grass lawns from mid October through mid November for a green winter lawn.
Prepare bed for fall planting
Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collard Greens, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce (Head & Leaf), Leeks, Mustard, Onions (Bulb & Green), Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Rutabagas, Spinach, Turnips
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Lettuce (Head & Leaf)
Fruit and Nut Trees
summer application of nitrogen fertilizer probably helps fruit sizing. This
is more significant for fall ripening (navels & tangerines) than spring ripening
(Grapefruit and Valencia orange) varieties.
Cut off spent blooms to stimulate rebloom
It is too late to fertilize freeze-sensitive plants such as citrus, hibiscus, bougainvillea, etc. However, early fall fertilization can help the recovery of summer-weary trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, lawns and flowers. Nitrogen fertilizer should be adequate. Follow with good deep irrigation.
Cut back watering frequencies as plant needs decrease with shortening, cooling days
Plant winter hardy trees, shrubs and vines
Plant wild flowers
Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied from October through early December for winter annual weed control. Follow the package directions carefully for best results. DO NOT use pre-emergent herbicides where you will be planting seeds this season.
Don't List . . .
Do not dethatch Bermuda in the Fall. Dethatching should be done in the summer when the grass is actively growing.
Do not increase opportunities for fungal disease on turf by over watering or watering at night.
DO NOT OVER WATER which will result in root rots. Allow the soil to dry out between watering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Damage is Noticed on the Fruit
Damage is Noticed on the Leaves
Agave collapsed into a smelly, putrid, mess practically overnight
Damage is Noticed on the Stem or Trunk
Seedlings have been clipped off right at the soil line
Leaves of vegetables are being eaten by snails, slugs, cabbage loopers, hornwormsor birds.
Pecan Aphid infestations
- Most of the damage is not to the tree but to everything under the tree which gets coated with a sticky covering. There is no good control, just hose off the sidewalks, lawn furniture, etc. under the trees.
is a gray or white powdery substance on plants
Seedlings and bedding plants wilt and die suddenly
Whole tree, or significant portion of plant died suddenly, the leaves turned brown but did not fall off.
Older leaves turn yellow and fall off. The plant is stunted. It wilts even when water is available The stem is streaked.
Very sudden die back of an olive tree branch. There is brown or green streaking between the bark and the wood.
Damage is Noticed on the Roots
Cultural / Environmental Questions
Citrus fruit split
Inappropriate water management leads to sunburn, making the rind less supple and less resilient to stretching and growing, thus as the fruit starts to enlarge it splits. There is nothing to be done for this season, ensure adequate irrigation next summer.
Pecans Drop before peak harvest time
This is the trees normal shedding of nuts that are damaged or underdeveloped. No management required.
The bark is discolored and cracking on the South or West side of the trunk
To Gardening & Landscaping in Maricopa County, AZ
Timely Tips for October in the Low Desert
visitors since April 27, 1997
Last Updated October 5, 2004
Author: Lucy K. Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture, Maricopa County
Reviewed by: Dr. Jean Stutz, Plant Pathologist, Arizona State University
© 1997 The University of Arizona,
College of Agriculture,
in Maricopa County. Comments to Lucy Bradley, Maricopa-Hort@cals.arizona.edu
4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040, (602) 470-8086