William "Bill" Doty

The fall lawn & garden bucket list

Well, the holiday season has crept up on us again. The season is special for several reasons, but here at Doty Farm & Garden Supply, it’s extra special because it marks our anniversary. We’ve been serving customers since November 1, 1954 and we’re thankful for your loyal business.

Now, before the fall season officially kicks the bucket and we are in full swing for winter, there are some tasks you should consider. Tackling these projects before winter kicks in will help keep your lawn and garden healthy, and it will show it too.

  • Give your lawn its most important feeding of the year. Fertilize now to ensure a green lawn this winter and a quick takeoff next spring. If the lawn is weedy, a combination weed-and-feed fertilizer might be necessary. If you have a poor lawn and decide to over seed with rye grass, fertilize every six to eight weeks. The frequency is needed because you’re feeding two grasses— the semi-dormant permanent grass and a very hungry and thirsty rye grass.
  • Match plantings to the cooler weather. These could include winter vegetables in the garden and, for color around the lawn, hardy annuals like petunias, snap dragons, and pansies. Fertilize lightly every two weeks with feed that includes minor elements, which tend to be depleted quickly in garden beds. For this, we like Gardener’s Special, a product from ferti-lome.
  • Reinvigorate soils with bone meal, potash, and other nutrients. Periods of heavy rainfall we had during the summer and early fall washed away most of these essential elements.
  • Protect annuals from “damping off” blights (caused by fungus) and insects. Use a good-quality fungicide and insecticide every week or two. Insect and fungus activity still is very apparent in both lawns and gardens throughout our area. Fungus is best treated with dry products right now. Insects can be controlled with either liquid or dry products.
  • “Bank” young and tender plants with built-up clean soil. Plants that are under fertilized, lacking in essential minor elements, weedy or weakened by disease or insects are more susceptible to cold damage.



BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty is owner of Doty Farm and Garden Supply Inc., founded in Winter Haven in 1954. Bill graduated from Winter Haven High School and Florida State University. Growing up, he learned valuable lessons in listening and asking questions and was a student of the family business. Bill shares his knowledge with his customers daily and with our readers monthly.

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