Toby's October 2021 Home, Lawn & Garden Tips:

for the best Home, Lawn & Garden

Toby has spent his entire adult life learning the best way to have the very best home, lawn, garden, and so much more.
Each month he puts together a new list of tips to help you with a plan that will ensure you keep everything up-to-date and going great.

Check back here every month for the very best tips, advice on how to do it right, and what to do!



  • Fall is the most important time of the year to upgrade your lawn. For information on seeding, fertilizing, weed control, mowing and watering visit Toby’s Fall Lawn Program by clicking on the link above under Lawn Programs.
  • Zoysia, Bermuda, and Buffalograss lawns should not be fertilized until spring. Mow and water as needed until lawns go dormant.
  • Broadleaf weeds (dandelions, chickweed, henbit, etc.) in newly seeded lawns should not be sprayed with weed killers until new grass is tall enough to have been mowed two times.
  • Keep tree leaves removed from the lawn, especially newly seeded lawns.
  • During October our lawns need 1 inch of water a week from rain or watering. During dry periods lawns will need watering once a week. Using a rain gauge is essential to tracking rain levels at your home.
  • Continue to monitor for white grub damage. Brown grass will lift up like a piece of carpet and white “C” shaped worms with a brown head will be easily seen. If found treat with Dylox (Trichlorfon) and immediately apply ¼ inch of water.


Trees & Shrubs

  • Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. In fact trees planted in the fall can gain an entire year of growth over trees planted in the spring.
  • Newly planted trees, especially maples, oaks, locusts, ashes, lindens, and fruit trees are susceptible to sunscald. Sunscald is usually found on the south or west side of the trunk. The damaged bark cracks and peels off. To protect your trees apply tree wrap from the ground to the first branch mid-October to mid-November. The first of April, next spring, remove tree wrap and store for next year’s use. Rewrap trees every fall for about the next 5-6 years and be sure to remove every year about April 1.
  • Newly planted trees and shrubs should be treated with Mushroom Stuff. Follow the directions on the package.
  • WATCH THE WATER!!! During dry periods, newly planted trees and shrubs should be watered once a week. Trees and shrubs planted in the last 3-5 years should be watered every 2-3 weeks during dry periods.


Vegetables & Fruits

  • Fall is a great time to prepare the soil for next spring’s garden. Add 2 inches of organic matter (compost, leaves, or grass clippings) and till it in. Don’t over till, leave the soil a little rough.
  • Dig sweet potatoes after a light frost. Cure for two weeks in a warm location. Store in a location above 55 degrees.
  • Harvest winter squash and pumpkins before frost. For the best storage, leave an inch or two of stem on each fruit.
  • Harvest gourds when their shells become hard or their color changes from green to brown.
  • Garlic planted now will give you HUGE cloves next summer. Plant individual cloves point up 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart. Fertilize with Hummert Dyna-Green All Purpose Tree Garden & Shrub Fertilizer, water in well and mulch. Harvest next summer after most of the foliage has browned.
  • Place wire guards or tree wraps around trunks of young fruit trees for protection against mice and rabbits. Remove in April.
  • Fall is a great time to plant fruit trees. My favorite, Stark Bros. Fruit Trees. Visit for a great selection.


Annuals, Perennial Flowers & Ornamental Grasses

  • Plant spring flowering bulbs (tulips, daffodils, crocus, etc.) Fertilize with Hummert Dyna-Green All Purpose Tree Garden & Shrub Fertilizer.
  • Fertilize established spring flowering bulbs with Hummert Dyna-Green All Purpose Tree Garden & Shrub Fertilizer.
  • Roses: After blooming prepare for winter by trimming back to no more than three feet from the ground.
  • Mulch roses near the end of the month with medium to coarse decorative bark one foot up in a pyramid shape.
  • Remove iris foliage and destroy.
  • If not done in September cut back and remove peony foliage. Fertilize with Hummert Dyna-Green All Purpose Tree Garden & Shrub Fertilizer.
  • Dig gladiolus bulbs after their leaves turn yellow. Dig canna and dahlia bulbs after a light frost. Let the bulbs air dry before storing.
  • Plants need 1 inch of water weekly. Water during dry periods.
  • Plant pansies for fall and early winter color.



  • Ornamental grasses: Should they be cut back? Ornamental grasses should never be cut back while they are green. Once they have turned brown, their foliage is extremely flammable and should be cut back where they will not be a fire hazard (such as next to the house.) Elsewhere in the landscape foliage can be left for winter interest and cut back in March,
  • Spray box elder bugs with Insecticidal Soap. If they persist, add the insecticide Permethrin with the soap.


House & Home Tips

  • VERY IMPORTANT: call Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, 913-384-4440 for Fall Furnace Tune Up.
  • Examine weather stripping and caulk around doors and windows. Replace material that’s no longer blocking air.
  • Insulate any exposed water faucets and outdoor pipes.
  • Put up storm windows.
  • Check air pressure monthly in car tires for better gas mileage.
  • Clean or replace furnace filter.